DiLorenzo & Rush | Counselors of Law
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Why drivers must watch out for drowsiness

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Drivers in New Jersey may find themselves drowsy behind the wheel for a number of reasons. The most common reason, of course, is lack of sleep. Adults need at least seven hours of sleep while teens require eight. Other causes include sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, the taking of drowsiness-inducing medications, the drinking of alcohol and night shift work.

In one survey, 1 in 25 respondents aged 18 and older admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel once in the past 30 days. The consequences of drowsy driving, then, should be obvious. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 72,000 drowsy driving crashes in 2013, and the number has no doubt risen since then. There were 44,000 cases of injury and 800 deaths.

Some studies say that the vast majority of drowsy driving crashes go unreported and that there may actually be more than 6,000 drowsy driving crash fatalities each year. It’s important, then, for drivers to know how to address drowsiness. It starts with knowing the symptoms: continual yawning, drooping eyelids, lane drifting and trouble remembering the last few miles driven.

Everyone must get sufficient sleep and create a consistent sleep schedule. If this still leads to drowsiness, one should consult a sleep specialist. Before taking medications, one should check the label or speak with the pharmacist.

Negligence is behind most car accidents, and drowsy driving is just one of many forms of negligence. Those who are injured in an accident may want to know to what degree of the other driver was negligent. In any event, victims may be able to file a third-party insurance claim if their PIP insurance does not cover all losses. They may want a lawyer to assess their case.