Thursday, November 6, 2014

Falling Asleep While Driving

The factor that makes drowsy driving so dangerous is this: usually you’re already out of the comfort of your home when you become tired, and the only way to rest is to get back to your home.

A good friend of mine is famous for making crazy decisions that severely hinder his attentiveness while driving. It’s a great example of exactly what we should be avoiding on the roadways.

He would wake up early, fit in as many errands during the day as he possibly could, hang out with a big group of loud, fun friends at night, and then drop everyone off at their respective destinations before finally heading home himself. He was like a taxi for all of us; a pretty dangerous taxi, now that I think about it…

Is It A Big Problem?

You probably wouldn’t think of drowsy driving as a serious problem. When I think of the common causes of car or motorcycle crashes the most prominent ones that comes to mind are phones, radios, or other distractions in the car that divert the driver’s attention long enough to send them barreling into the back of another car.

Next, I’d have to say driving under the influence. That seems to be the most funded campaign of them all…we’ve all heard it before: “Don’t drink and drive!”

There are a few others that come to mind as well, like applying makeup, eating, fixing your hair…petty things that you wouldn’t consider being as risky and possibly fatal as they are.

So how serious is drowsy driving? According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, tired drivers have cause around 21% of fatal crashes.

Statistics can sometimes be misleading. They apply to the variables of the test, not necessarily the entire world, they change constantly, and they can never be 100% accurate. The cool thing about them, though, is that they give us an idea of what could be close to the real numbers.

That means that 1 in 5 crashes involve a sleepy vehicle operator. That seems like a pretty big deal to me!

Driving under the influence is somewhere around 2 in 5 crashes. Texting while driving is the same as drowsy driving, accounting for 1 in 5 crashes as well.

Want to hear something even crazier? It’s not uncommon for all 3 of these dangerous driving habits to be combined.

A tired, texting driver who is on their way home from a bar crawl.

It may seem like I’m making light of this situation, but trust me, I’m not. This is a real problem causing seriously injuries—sometimes fatal—that I hope will be addressed in the near future.

How Can I Prevent This?

You may not be able to control the decisions of the thousands of people who, every day in the United States, drive while they’re tired and cause a car accident, but you can certainly control your own decisions! Here are some ways you can avoid drowsy driving.

·        If the night is going slow and you’re feeling that shroud of gloom slowly wash over your tired brain, call it a night! Don’t be scared to tell your buddies you’ve got to go!

·        If you were their transport and they’re relying on you for a ride back home, tell it like it is. Safety is more important than staying at the club for an extra hour. They’ll find another ride home if they don’t want to leave when you’re ready.

·        Get more sleep. Go to bed on time and aim for at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Anything less is seriously pushing it, and anything more could be benefiting you greatly, so PLAN YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE WISELY!

·        If you’re in a situation where you’ve absolutely got to drive, make a quick stop at a convenient store or gas station. Pick up some sweets, a coffee, soda, or anything else that may help keep you awake. Blare the radio and jam out to your favorite song to keep your mind working, but be sure not to play any slow jams! Maintain the little alertness you have left if you’re forced to drive while tired.


I would never be able to forgive myself if I fell asleep at the wheel and injured another person(s) in an accident that I caused. I personally take steps to ensure my maximum alertness while driving, but not everyone does.

Innocent people are injured every day due to someone else’s negligence. Drowsy driving accidents may not occur on purpose, but they can still be avoided! Be a responsible driver and only get behind the wheel if you’re sure you can handle it.

If you or a loved one has suffered in a car accident resulting from another party’s lack of care, you may be eligible for compensation. Here in Clearwater, Florida, Dolman Law Group focuses on personal injury cases in which a true victim needs true help. We offer our clients a free consultation and case evaluation and we run our firm with high standards, personable morals, and determined care. Don’t wait any longer, contact us today and receive the helping hand you deserve!

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900