Drowsy driving: More dangerous that you may think

Drowsy driving in Tennessee is highly dangerous – even fatal – though it is completely preventable.

It is not uncommon for people in Tennessee to feel tired behind the wheel. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 35 percent of U.S. adults receive less than the recommended seven hours of sleep every night. This would clearly lead to someone feeling fatigued the next day.

While yawning on the morning commute may be expected, exhaustion while driving is dangerous. Here, we take a look at the frightening statistics associated with the behavior as well as how to prevent a tragedy from occurring.

How often does drowsy driving happen?

The National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey in which they asked people about their driving habits. The poll found that 60 percent of adult drivers admitted to feeling sleepy while on the road. Even worse, 37 percent said they had dozed off behind the wheel, and 13 percent said they have fallen asleep at least one time a month while driving.

What are the effects of drowsy driving?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that roughly 21 percent of all motor vehicle accidents that end in fatality have been linked to driver fatigue. The behavior also accounts for 7 percent of all traffic accidents.

What are the signs that I'm too tired to drive?

It may be easy for someone to get into the car thinking that simply rolling down the windows and having a cup of coffee will be enough to stay awake for the drive. There are several warning signs that the body is shutting down, such as the following:

  • Heavy blinking and frequent yawning
  • Difficulty staying in the correct lane
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven
  • Hitting the rumble strips repeatedly

The problem is that once these symptoms begin, the driver is already in danger. A tired mind is less likely to be able to react in a timely fashion and make decisions using sound judgment.

How can drowsy driving be prevented?

The simplest answer is: Do not drive if you are tired. In some cases, some caffeine may be enough to stay awake for the last stretch of a road trip. However, it is best to never be in that position in the first place. It all begins with getting enough sleep on a regular basis - at least seven hours a night.

If embarking on a long trip, drivers should take measures to prevent an accident. They should try to have someone else who can share the burden of travel. Additionally, breaks should be planned for every few hours. During these breaks, the driver should get out of the car and move around.

When a traffic accident does involve this behavior, it is possible for victims to seek legal recourse against the responsible party. Anyone who has questions about this topic should speak with a personal injury attorney in Tennessee.