Many people in California work long hours and make long commutes in their cars. However, someone who is struggling to stay awake while driving to or from work would be better off pulling over and taking a nap. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy drivers cause 6,400 fatal motor vehicle crashes that occur every year in the United States.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently conducted its Sleep Prioritization Survey and found that 45% of Americans have driven while drowsy. Like drunk driving, drowsy driving can cause impairment and delayed reaction time. Drowsy drivers may nod off in the middle of traffic, drift into the next lane or fail to recognize important road signs. If a driver notices that they are yawning frequently, having trouble keeping their eyes open or forgetting portions of their trip, it could be time to pull over.
Sufficient sleep cannot be replaced with caffeine as caffeinated drinks only provide a short-lived jolt. Likewise, loud music and rolling down the window are not good solutions to drowsiness. If a person has not had enough sleep, choosing to drive may put their life and other motorists’ lives at risk.
Costa Mesa auto accident injury lawyers represent people who have been hurt in collisions that were caused by drowsy drivers. A lawyer may help a car accident victim claim compensation for their injuries by proving that a drowsy driver was the party responsible. If it is difficult to prove who caused the accident, a lawyer could potentially show evidence that a driver was not sufficiently rested.