You might think driving drowsy is an inconvenient fact of life. You have a busy schedule and you do not always get as much sleep as you should, so you grab a cup of coffee before your morning commute and turn up the music to help you stay awake. Unfortunately, common methods of avoiding drowsiness behind the wheel do not always work, especially if you drive longer distances. At the law office of McGlynn, Glisson & Mouton, we feel it is important to let you and other Louisiana residents know about the prevalent danger of drowsy driving.
In recent surveys, most people admitted to having driven while drowsy or nodding off behind the wheel at least once in their lives, reports the National Sleep Foundation. In fact, 13 percent admitted they drive drowsy at least once a month. 100,000 car crashes across the country are blamed on drowsy each year, resulting in about 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries.
The easy answer to avoid sleep-related accidents is to get enough sleep. However, we realize this is not always as simple as it sounds. If you have an untreated sleep disorder or regularly take medication that makes you drowsy, you may need to talk to your doctor. Sipping on a cup of coffee or energy drink may help during shorter drives, but if you are taking a long trip, you might want to bring a driving buddy or pull over for regular breaks. If you find it difficult to keep your eyes open, stopping to take a nap might save your life.
It is important to recognize the risks of drowsy driving, especially during the holiday season when you might be on the road to visit loved ones. Our page on auto accidents discusses the serious injuries you might suffer as a result of another driver’s negligence.