According to the Health News Digest, the change in daylight savings time does not only bring an additional hour of daylight, it also brings a greater chance of drowsy driving. This is one of the most substantial factors in auto accidents across America.
The National Road Safety Foundation advises drivers to be extra cautions during this time of the year, and to be aware of driver fatigue. The time change is known to disturb normal sleeping patters, which is linked to drowsy driving.
In fact, drowsy driving is responsible for over 100,000 accidents each year, resulting in 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries and over $12 billion in losses, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to David Reich of the National Road Safety Foundation, “rolling down the windows or blasting the radio won’t keep you awake if you’re sleep deprived, those tactics simply don’t work.”
The brain may compensate for the lack of sleep by taking “micro-sleeps” for a few seconds or longer. During these few seconds, an automobile traveling at highway speeds can travel the entire length of a football field, swerving through traffic, into oncoming traffic, and even into a tree. These crashes are often extremely serious as the driver is not able to perform corrective actions to avoid the collision.
The following signs of drowsy driving should be recognized by all drivers:
- Drifting out of the lane
- Forgetting driving
- Frequent blinking
- Going over rumble strips
- Head nodding
- Problems focusing
- Repeated yawning
- Rubbing eyes
If a driver experiences any of these warning signs, it is highly advised to pull over at the next safest location, and take at least a 20 minute nap. In addition, caffeinated beverages and snacks may take up to 30 minutes to enter the bloodstream. Do not drink alcohol or take medications at this time.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a car accident due to driver fatigue? If so, that victim may be eligible to file a damages lawsuit, claiming for financial compensation.
At Simien & Simien, our car accident lawyers have the knowledge and resources in regards to Louisiana's traffic laws and can help fight for your maximum compensation amount.