Drowsy driving crashes are more common than Kentucky residents might think. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that 328,000 occur every year around the country, though the number of those reported by the police is only around 100,000. It’s important to know how drowsiness affects the body and what can be done to curb this trend.
First of all, there is only one real solution to drowsiness, and that is sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society both recommend a minimum of seven hours of sleep for adults. Drivers who fail to achieve this may become incapable of making correct judgments and slower in their reactions. They may even suffer from four- or five-second bursts of inattention called microsleep.
Drivers should be familiar with the symptoms of drowsiness: constant yawning, drooping eyelids, lane drifting, a habitual missing of turns and exits etc. When possible, they should pull over for a nap. Others can try to minimize the risk of drowsy driving through education. Employers and universities alike can set up programs to encourage responsible driving. Parents can make a rule about drowsiness in their driving agreement with their teens. In addition, there is room for improvement when it comes to labeling medications. Many simply don’t warn their users adequately about side effects that induce drowsiness.
Drivers are supposed to have their car under control at all times, so when drowsiness prevents them and leads to motor vehicle accidents instead, they will be held responsible. Victims whose losses are not covered by personal injury protection benefits may be able to file a third-party insurance claim. It’s possible that there are non-monetary damages, too, that victims deserve to be reimbursed for. Whatever the nature of their case, victims may want to have it assessed by an attorney.