Driving while tired is a prevalent issue that often results in terrifying accidents. Drowsy drivers tend to overestimate their ability to stay awake and focused, but sleep can take over before they realize it, putting themselves and everyone on the road in danger. Resisting fatigue is an effort that impedes the ability to react quickly and make the right decision when needed.
What causes drowsy driving?
If you regularly experience tiredness while driving, it’s essential for you to identify what causes it:
- Not getting enough sleep
- Driving at night, when your body requires sleep
- Suffering from a sleep disorder that causes fatigue
- Taking medications that induce sleepiness
If any of the above apply to you, it is a serious issue you need to address. Simply opening your window to get fresh air or keeping the radio on is not a solution. Yawning, rubbing your eyes, spacing out… behavior like this must not be ignored. If you always feel fatigued and sleepy, you need to see your physician to identify possible disorders and treat them.
It’s worth noting that driving while tired is doubly dangerous for people whose work requires them to drive at night like commercial drivers and shift workers. Driving at night requires people to be more alert, due to lower visibility and a higher risk of encountering impaired drivers.
The Dangerous Consequences of Driving While Tired
It’s no secret that drowsy driving can result in devastating consequences for you and other people on the road. A drowsy driver lacks the alertness needed to steer quickly or operate the brakes when something unexpected happens.
Individuals who drive long distances to go to work and back have a higher risk of experiencing fatigue during the commute. The combination of a stressful day and the additional effort of focusing on the road take a toll on your body and mind. Drowsy driving causes:
- Nodding off
- Drifting from the lane
- Decreased vigilance
- Slow reaction time
- Poor decision making
- Missing road signs
- Not remembering the last few miles
These factors drastically increase the risk of a car accident that can leave you with:
- Severe injuries
- Lasting trauma
- Loss of a loved one
- Loss of your own life
What Indiana Laws Say About Drowsy Driving
While it is hard to find statistics on drowsy driving for a specific state, studies on a national level show that driving while tired is not uncommon. A survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) states that more than one in four drivers reported being behind the wheel in an advanced state of tiredness at least once in the past month.
Laws may vary depending on the state. Indiana is a “fault” state, meaning that driver who is at fault will provide compensation for the injuries they caused.
How to Avoid Feeling Tired While Driving
Remember that a single moment of drowsiness is enough to put you in a life-or-death situation. It is thus mandatory to take measures to stay fully awake when you take the wheel.
First of all, make sure that you get enough sleep, not only for safe driving but for your overall health. Be sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Do not allow a busy schedule to take away hours of sleep from you.
Schedule short breaks during long trips. Pull over, get some fresh air and drink a caffeinated beverage. This can help you regain energy and concentration. It’s best to listen to your body when it signals fatigue. Whenever possible, have a passenger travel with you. Take turns driving so you can have a bit of rest.
If you have to drive long distances every day for work and you feel tired while behind the wheel, you may want to reconsider your career options. See if you can be transferred to a site that is closer to your home, or start looking for a new job where you don’t have to endure exhaustion daily. This might not be an option for everyone, but give it a thought at least. It may not look like it, but driving may be the most dangerous activity you engage in during your life.
Did a Drowsy Driver Cause Your Car Accident? Reach Out to an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in a car accident in Indiana caused by a drowsy driver and suffered a severe injury, call Rowe & Hamilton today to schedule your free consultation to discuss your case and consider your legal options. Obtaining compensation for the injuries caused by an irresponsible driver can be a complex process, and our assistance will help you ease your worries and build a strong case.