10 Tips for Avoiding Driver Fatigue
Awareness groups and safety organizations across the country are on a mission to end distracted, intoxicated, and drowsy driving, particularly in Florida where there are nearly 400,000 motor vehicle collisions reported each year. Unfortunately, most people tend to underestimate the symptoms of drowsy driving, which can severely impair a driver’s judgment, vision, accuracy, and reactions times – much like drugs and alcohol. In fact, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department (FLMSMV) estimates that fatigued drivers are responsible for 16,545 crashes and 1,200 serious bodily injuries a year.
Common symptoms of driving fatigue include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Micro-sleeping or “nodding off”
- Frequent blinking
- Drifting between lanes
- Missing exits
- Feeling restless
According to research completed by the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 50% of all Americans are guilty of driving when fatigued. The two leading causes of drowsy driving are a lack of quality sleep and driving during “sleeping” hours. Shift workers, commercial drivers, inexperienced drivers, and people with sleep disorders are the most at risk of fatigued driving.
Drowsy Driving Prevention Week
In 2008, Ronshay Dugans was killed after a sleeping driver hit her school bus. To honor this student, state lawmakers in Florida designated the first week of September as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. The purpose of this annual observance is to educate the public on the dangers of fatigued driving and provide critical resources to victims and surviving family members.
The personal injury lawyers at The Pittman Firm, P.A. are proud to support any effort that decreases the annual number of traffic fatalities in Florida. To support Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, our legal team has compiled the following drowsy driving prevention tips:
- Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
- Avoid driving after taking medications that cause drowsiness.
- Take a break after driving 100 miles or 2 hours.
- Don’t eat sugary drinks or fatty foods that can exacerbate drowsy driving symptoms.
- Give yourself extra time to reach your destination.
- Use a “buddy system” to switch between drivers on long trips.
- Avoid driving during the hours you would normally be asleep.
- Pull over if you start experiencing the symptoms of drowsy driving.
- Do not drive if you have been awake for 24 hours or more.
- Never rely on caffeine or loud music to keep you awake.
Have You Been Injured by a Drowsy Driver?
All drivers must exercise reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle in Florida. This responsibility includes staying off the roads when your body isn’t in a condition to drive. Sadly, too many people factor convenience over safety when it comes to drowsy driving, not realizing that their negligent choices can result in tragic accidents and fatal collisions. If you or a loved one has been injured by the actions of a drowsy driver, contact the car accident attorneys at The Pittman Firm, P.A. today. Our award-winning legal team can help you file a claim and pursue compensation that facilitates your recovery.
Contact The Pittman Firm, P.A.at (850) 764-0383 to arrange a free case evaluation today.