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Study Finds Drowsy Driving is as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

Contact Jon Artz today if you need to speak with an experienced Los Angeles DUI Lawyer. The fastest way is by calling: 310-820-1315.According to a study by AAA, driving tired increases the risk of an automobile accident and can even be comparable to drunk driving. Through awareness about the frequency of drowsy driving and understanding the predictors that increase your risks, we can begin to decrease sleep-related accidents across the country.

Statistics on Drowsy Driving

From the AAA study, the following trends were uncovered:

  • Drivers who miss two or more hours of sleep per day are four times more likely to be involved in a crash compared to those who get at least seven hours
  • 20% of fatal accidents are caused by a drowsy driver
  • The highest risk groups are teenagers and people of any age who regularly experience sleep debt such as shift workers
  • Those who sleep four hours per day or less are 12 times more likely to crash

DrowsyDriving.org reports similar statistics on the growing issue:

  • 100,000 accidents occur per year as a result of drowsy driving
  • 18-29 year olds are the most likely to drive while fatigued
  • Men outrank women for falling asleep at the wheel by approximately two to one.
  • Australian research indicates that 18-24 hours of wakefulness has the impairment equivalent of a .05 and .10 Blood Alcohol Concentration, respectively.

Driving Behaviors and Fatigue

Not only does drowsy driving increase the odds of falling asleep at the wheel, it increases the likelihood of other unsafe driving habits as well. Whether someone is aware of their sleepiness or not, they may drive faster and become agitated. Because drowsy driving is not talked about as much as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can be difficult to understand what to do in the moment to avoid exacerbating the risk factors and causing an accident.

How to Avoid Driving While Tired

Though you may not feel at risk by having a demanding job or home life, warning signs can arise on any drive such as:

  1. Frequent yawning
  2. Missed exits
  3. Inability to remember the last several minutes or miles
  4. Heavy eyelids
  5. Difficulty focusing

Plan ahead for particularly vulnerable times such as long road trips or late night shifts by:

  • Mapping out stops ahead of time. As a rule, you should plan to take a break at least every two hours.
  • Avoiding alcohol and any medication that can increase drowsiness. Even one drink can increase fatigue and make it more difficult to stay awake on the drive home.
  • Bringing a friend and asking them to stay awake on your drive. If either of you are not feeling up to the task, speak up and trade places.
  • Getting more sleep! Preparing for a road trip can often lead to packing and errands the night before. If last minute to-dos keep you up late, it’s better to delay your departure to get 7-8 hours of sleep than increase your odds of falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Scheduling an appointment to rule out sleep disorders if you regularly experience daytime fatigue or insomnia.

Self-awareness has proven generally ineffective in the fight to stop drowsy driving; however, there are some things you can do if you notice yourself get sleepy. Singing along to the radio or talking to a friend can keep the mind engaged. Caffeine is also a good idea though it’s important to note that tolerance levels vary and it takes approximately 30 minutes to be effective. The best course of action is to pull over and either take a 15-minute nap or call someone to pick you up.

Remember-safety first: avoid fatigued driving at all costs. Whatever delays you might experience are well worth the lives of yourself and others.

Contact Jon Artz today if you need to speak with an experienced Los Angeles DUI Lawyer. The fastest way is by calling: 310-820-1315.

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Study Finds Drowsy Driving is as Dangerous as Drunk Driving
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Study Finds Drowsy Driving is as Dangerous as Drunk Driving
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According to a study by AAA, driving tired increases the risk of an automobile accident and can even be comparable to drunk driving. Through awareness about the frequency of drowsy driving and understanding the predictors that increase your risks, we can begin to decrease sleep-related accidents across the country.
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