Nationwide, there are more than 100,000 fatigue-related accidents on our roadways every year, causing injury to more than 70,000 people and killing at least 2,000. Drowsy driving-related car accidents in Knoxville and elsewhere in Tennessee happen as well.
These numbers are interesting considering the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a study that concluded that more than 95 percent of drivers said drowsy driving is an unacceptable driving behavior. Even with this many drivers opposing the habit, about a third of them admitted to driving while drowsy at least once in the last 30 days.
To help reduce the risks of these accidents, AAA has joined forces with the National Sleep Foundation to support the 2011 Drowsy Driving Prevention Week campaign. Our Knoxville injury attorneys invite you to join this campaign that is taking place this week, helping to raise awareness among drivers about the dangers, risks and consequences of driving while drowsy.
Sadly, drowsy drivers are involved in one out of every six fatal accidents on our roadways.
“Drivers have a tendency to underestimate the impact being tired has on their driving ability, which puts themselves and others at risk,” said AAA Foundation president and CEO Peter Kissinger. Drowsy driving kills, just as sure as drunk, drugged and distracted driving does.”
Most of the drivers who admitted to falling asleep at the wheel recently confessed that they did so while they were traveling at a high-rate of speed.
You should pull over and rest if you experience any of the following symptoms:
-You’re having trouble keeping your eyelids open or your head up.
-Your vehicle is drifting in and out of the lane.
-You can’t really remember the last few miles you’ve driven.
-You’re feeling aggressive, irritable or restless.
-You’re missing street signs, street lights or your exit.
-You’re having a hard time focusing on the roadways.
To prevent a drowsy driving-related accident:
-Pull over and take a break.
-Get a good night’s rest. Sleep at least seven hours the night before you take a long road trip.
-Drink plenty of caffeinated drinks.
-Stop and take a break after every 100 miles of after every two hours.
-Never drive during times when you’d normally be sleeping.
-Drive with a passenger. Switch spots if you start feeling tired.
One of the most commonly made mistakes by drowsy drivers is attempting to power through their sleepy symptoms. This is one of the most dangerous decisions a driver can make. Sleepy drivers can fall into 3- to 4-second micro-sleep periods. During this time, you’re in your car driving unconsciously. It’s most important that you stop driving if you start to feel tired. This state of mind not only puts you at risk, but other drivers as well.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident involving a drowsy driver in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Maryville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.
More Blog Entries:
Early Morning Tennessee Trucking Accident Shuts Down I-75, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, August 16, 2011
Drivers Using Drugs Increase in Risks of Tennessee Trucking Accidents – NHTSA Investigates, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, July 8, 2011