For most Pennsylvanians, driving is a necessary adventure. Whether it is running errands, driving to work, getting to school or shuttling children to various events, people spend a significant amount of their daily lives in a vehicle. Unfortunately, driving doesn’t always occur at opportune times – often requiring individuals to climb behind the wheel early in the morning, late at night, or after an exceedingly long shift at work.
Essentially, tired driving becomes a necessity.
Unfortunately, this has progressed past a “driving inconvenience” and has become a deadly endeavor. The CDC has published a paper highlighting numerous collected facts, including:
- An estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers (aged 18 or older) reported having fallen asleep while driving (in the 30 days before the survey).
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013.
Drivers deal with distractions during every block – every mile – of every trip. From eating, talking, reading road signs and making phone calls – drivers find their attention pulled from the task of safe vehicle operation nearly constantly. While falling asleep at the wheel is clearly deadly, what can be said about fatigued or drowsy driving?
- Drowsiness makes you less able to pay attention to the road.
- Drowsiness slows your reaction time – making it more challenging to brake or steer suddenly to avoid a collision.
- Drowsiness affects your ability to make good decisions.
Even though it might be a challenge to do so, drivers need to start recognizing their own limitations. The CDC highlights numerous symptoms that could lead to early detection of drowsy driving, including:
- Yawning or blinking frequently
- Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven
- Missing your exit or turn
- Drifting in your lane to either the shoulder or crossing the center stripe
It is crucial that you keep yourself and the drivers around you safe. You can face fatigue at any time of the day depending on your unique situation. Perhaps you struggle with insomnia or have worked a double shift and are finally going home for the day. If you were injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, it is crucial that you act quickly to learn more about your legal options for monetary recovery.