The Dangers of Driving While Drowsy

Many people are safe and responsible drivers. They stay aware of their surroundings, use their turn signals, and avoid driving when they’re too tired or emotional. However, not all drivers follow the rules of road safety. In 2014, at least 846 drowsy drivingpeople were killed on U.S. roadways because of drowsy driving.

What Is Drowsy Driving?

Drowsy driving occurs when a person feels exhaustion, sleepiness, or fatigue when getting behind the wheel of a car but chooses to drive anyway. Drowsy driving often happens on long road trips, after a long day of work, or late at night. While anyone can choose to drive while he’s tired or exhausted, those who work in particularly mentally or physically taxing jobs or activities may be more inclined to drive drowsy, including semi-truck drivers and nurses, doctors, or EMTs.

What Are the Signs of Drowsy Driving?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 37 percent of all drivers in 2002 admitted to feeling sleepy or falling asleep behind the wheel at least once. When a person is too tired to stay alert while operating a vehicle, his reaction time may be slowed and experience impaired thinking. Here are some major warning signs of drowsy driving:

  • Body language. If you continue to yawn, find yourself “nodding off,” and can’t keep your head up or your eyes open, you should stop and rest.  
  • Trouble remembering. If you can’t remember driving the last few miles, miss turns, or drive past your exit, you might be driving drowsy.
  • Drifting. If you drift into another lane of traffic or onto the rumble strips on the shoulder of the road, you could be driving drowsy.  

If you were in an accident with a driver who was behind the wheel while fatigued or exhausted, you may have questions about how to recover damages. Contact the experienced lawyers at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum. We are happy to discuss your specific situation.