Drowsy driving is a major concern among drivers, even those who are alert and well-rested. At any point in time, you could find yourself in close proximity to a driver who is in desperate need of sleep. Subsequently, there is a much greater chance of you being part of a car accident.
Here are some of the primary causes of drowsy driving:
- Sleep loss: When a person doesn't get enough sleep, typically seven to nine hours per night, he or she begins to suffer from sleep deprivation.
- Sleep disorder: Some people are unable to get the sleep they need as the result of a sleep disorder, such as restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea. Left untreated, this can be extremely dangerous.
- Job-related restrictions: For example, truckers are often on the road for many hours in a row. Also, shift workers may find it difficult to settle into a sleep schedule.
- Alcohol consumption or prescription drug use: Both of these have the potential to cause sleepiness, thus leading to a driver dozing off behind the wheel.
From a personal perspective, you can take steps to ensure that you don't get behind the wheel when you're too tired to drive.
What you can't control is the actions of other drivers. Even if you assume those around you are alert and well-rested, you'll never really know for sure.
If a drowsy driver strikes your vehicle, move to safety and call police to the scene. Once you receive treatment, you can review the police report to learn more about the accident and determine how to best protect your legal rights.