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Learn about the dangers of drowsy driving
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Learn about the dangers of drowsy driving

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

By now, most Hackensack residents are aware of the risks posed by drunk or distracted driving. However, drowsy driving is a major problem on New Jersey’s busy highways, as well, contributing to many catastrophic motor vehicle accidents.

Lack of sleep and busy lives contribute to drowsy driving

It does not take much to become a drowsy driver. Most of us lead busy lives and do not get adequate sleep to begin with. That, combined with events such as a longer than usual day at work, or a weekend full of social activities or special events, can lead to being drowsy and fatigued behind the wheel. There are many negative effects of drowsy driving, including delayed reaction times, reduced concentration and increased aggressiveness.

Although it is difficult to gather precise figures on the number of car accidents involving drowsy driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving accidents are more likely to occur on rural roads, and in the late afternoon or between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., when our body clock lowers and naturally makes us sleepier. If possible, avoid driving during these times.

The best ways to avoid drowsy driving

The chance of drowsy driving can be reduced by trying your hardest to get enough sleep each night, particularly before traveling. Alcohol and certain medications may increase sleepiness, so avoid alcohol if it typically makes you sleepy. If you are on any medications, check the side effects. If drowsiness is a side effect, it may be better to find an alternative form of transportation.

Even with the best efforts, becoming sleepy while driving is sometimes unavoidable. Caffeine can help, but do not overload on it. Drink only 1 or 2 cups and pull over to a safe place if necessary and take a short nap. Even a 20-minute nap can help.

Despite exact figures being available, it is a safe assumption that most car accidents involve a fatigued driver. Car accident victims face many challenges, including high medical bills, lost wages and physical and mental suffering. A personal injury carry can analyze the details of the accident and gather other evidence, potentially resulting in compensation.