All drivers know there are certain dangerous behaviors that are important to avoid. Drunk and distracted driving have received a lot of attention, and safety campaigns have been launched to promote awareness and encourage safety. One common behavior that can cause just as much damage, but that doesn't always receive as much attention is drowsy driving. Fatigued driving is a major problem on U.S. roadways, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One CDC study reported that 1 in 25 adult drivers had reported falling asleep at the wheel in the 30 days prior to the study. With more than 530,000 licensed drivers traveling Alaska’s roads, there’s a good chance that you or someone you love has encountered a sleepy driver recently, whether you realized it or not.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety compared sleep-deprived drivers to drunk drivers and found that drowsy driving is a bigger safety issues than national estimates may show. Drowsiness can:
- Prevent a driver from paying attention to traffic and road conditions
- Slow reaction to changing conditions
- Affect a driver’s ability to make good decisions
The Warning Signs of a Tired Driver on the Road
Feeling tired is a common complaint of many adults, but when does it cross the line into dangerous driving behavior? How do you know if you should stay off the road or if another driver may be exhibiting signs of drowsy driving? Very young and older drivers, shift workers, commercial drivers, and those who take medication that can cause sleepiness are most likely to cause drowsy driving accidents. They can happen at any time, however, and some common warning signs include:
- Drifting from the lane
- Yawning or blinking frequently
- Difficulty remembering the past few miles
- Missing or barely missing exit signs or other road signs
Drowsy Drivers Can Be Held Accountable for Accidents They Cause
All drivers have a responsibility to make choices and operate their vehicles in a manner that promotes the safety of all who share the road. When a driver fails in that duty, such as when they fall asleep driving or even drive drowsy, they can be held accountable. While it can be difficult to prove another driver was tired or asleep, it is possible. Anchorage attorney Ben Crittenden helps injury victims investigate their accidents and ensure they are able to obtain all the compensation they deserve for medical bills and lost wages.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident with a drowsy driver, call Ben today. Learn more about your rights and how Ben can help you obtain and protect the compensation you need to move forward successfully.