experienced car accident attorney orlando flWhen it comes to driving drowsy, is it actually an issue? As it turns out, driving drowsy is a huge issue facing the nation today. A study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that one in ten people admitted to falling asleep completely behind the wheel in the past year. Worse, one out of seven drivers from the ages of 16 to 24 nodded off while driving once or more in the past year. The study was part of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, held November 12 to 18.

The week is designed to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while drowsy. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that one in six of all deadly car crashes is caused by a drowsy driver. These types of accidents are preventible. So what can you do to prevent causing an accident due to falling asleep? Read on to find out.

A Sleep in America poll conducted by the NSF in 2011 found that among drivers, up to 52% admitted to driving drowsy, with 37% admitting to driving drowsy even in the past month.

Currently, there are only four states with laws against drowsy driving. They are Utah, New Jersey, Florida and California. New Jersey first passed Maggie’s Law, named for the victim of a driver who had not slept for 30 hours and was on drugs. Maggie McDonnell passed away from her injuries. However, Maggie’s Law made any driver who had not slept for 24 hours accountable for reckless driving and able to be convicted of vehicular homicide. Prior to this, the driver received a suspended jail sentence and $200 fine, as the lawyers argued that there was no law in New Jersey that criminalized drowsy driving or falling asleep while driving.

Do not drive if you:

  • Are tired
  • Have problems focusing
  • Are mentally, emotionally, or physically exhausted
  • You feel yourself yawning
  • You notice you are drifting or swerving
  • Not seeing cars until they are right in front of you or near you
  • Struggling to stay awake
  • Feeling your thoughts drift and daydreaming
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Not obeying traffic laws
  • Getting honked at
  • Experiencing irritation
  • Getting lost or missing exits

To combat this, sleep for eight hours a night and make sure you get adequate rest. Never drive crazy in order to get to your destination faster, and pull over if you’re going to fall asleep. Take a nap by the side of the road! Anything but driving under the influence. Don’t consume booze, medication, or drugs that can make you sleepy and take breaks every 2 hours to rest or stretch your legs if driving alone.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to drowsy driving, consult The Law Offices of Payas, Payas, and Payas today. They’ll set you up with an experienced car accident attorney that can help you determine if you have a viable case.