Getting behind the wheel when you are feeling tired seems harmless but it can result in an auto accident. The reason is that, whether we like it or not, our bodies require sleep. It gives the body time to repair and rejuvenate so we are awake and alert the next day. Drowsy driving can be correlated directly to auto accidents in Phoenix that not only injure you but also others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that 1 in 25 adult drivers (18 years or older), reported falling asleep at the wheel in the previous 30 days. That is a staggering number of drivers who can potentially cause an auto accident.
Drowsy driving not only endangers you as the driver, but it also endangers your passengers and other people on the road. In 2017, 795 lives were lost because of sleepy drivers. Those were all preventable if the drivers had taken time to evaluate how they were feeling before getting behind the wheel.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the signs of drowsy driving include:
- Head nodding
- Frequent blinking or longer blinks
- Heavy eyelids
- Lack of focus
- Drifting out of a lane
- Slower reaction time
- Compromised ability to make decisions
Any combination of these means a driver is compromised and is more likely to cause a Phoenix auto accident.
Over time, sleep deprivation causes a lack of productivity, confusion, and in some cases, leads to sleep disorders. Whether a driver is falling asleep or driving drowsy, they are a danger to themselves and others. Their lack of awareness can cause an auto accident in Phoenix, making it important to be an alert passenger as much as being an alert driver.
What can Arizona drivers do to prevent drowsy driving?
As a driver or passenger, we encourage you to be alert. If you see another vehicle swerving, driving in the wrong direction, or exhibiting other indications of drowsy driving, call the police when you are able to do so safely. You may be saving a life.
Evaluate how you are feeling before getting behind the wheel. Rather than being the cause of a Phoenix auto accident, let someone else drive or wait to drive until after you have rested.
There is no way of getting around allowing time for your body to sleep. The recommendation from the National Sleep Foundation is 7-9 hours per night for adults. Getting less sleep, or no sleep, will result in drivers experiencing the signs of drowsy driving that we have discussed in this article. Stay safe on the road and encourage others to do the same.
At Hastings & Hastings, we have experienced personal injury attorneys who have handled cases involving injuries caused by drowsy driving.