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When a Cup of Coffee Can Save your Life: The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

When a Cup of Coffee Can Save your Life: The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

You already know the dangers of drinking and driving. When you drive drunk, not only are you at risk of being charged with driving under the influence (DUI), but you put yourself and others on the road in danger of being injured or killed in a car accident. Numerous public service campaigns have warned us about the dangers of drinking and driving and today, the topic is covered thoroughly in most driver education courses.

But what about other ways you can put yourself and others on the road in danger? The dangers of drunk driving are well-publicized; the dangers of drowsy driving are less so. But drowsy driving, or driving when you have not had an adequate amount of sleep, can be as dangerous as drunk driving. If you are injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you can potentially suffer significant damages. In the event this happens, consider seeking compensation through a personal injury claim.

Drowsy Driving Accident Statistics

According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, more than half of adult drivers have admitted to driving despite feeling drowsy. Other highlights from this 2005 poll include:

  • 37 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving;
  • Four percent admitted to have been in accidents or near-accidents due to falling asleep while driving;
  • 1,550 people died in accidents due to fatigue; and
  • 71,000 people were injured in drowsy-driving related accidents.

Safety Tips to Keep yourself Alert

Always be alert behind the wheel. If you are too tired to drive home after a long day out or at work, there is no shame in choosing to stay over where you are or at a nearby hotel. If this is not an option, consider taking a nap in your car or wherever you are before you make the drive home.

Other ways you can keep yourself alert enough to drive safely include:

  • Drink a caffeinated beverage before you need to drive. This can be coffee, cola, black tea, or a commercial energy drink;
  • Eat before you drive. What you eat matters – choose a snack that is high in protein, like beef jerky. Protein gives you longer-lasting energy whereas carbohydrates, which are found in pastas and breads, give a short burst of energy followed by a “crash;”
  • Plan your active and resting periods ahead of time. If you know you will be out of the house for a prolonged period of time, build time for a nap into your schedule; and
  • If you are too tired to drive home, do what you would do if you were too drunk to drive home: call a friend, a taxi, or a rideshare service. If you live in an area with public transportation, take advantage of it.

Work with an Experienced Chicago Car Accident Attorney

Although you can choose not to drive drowsy, you cannot control the choices other drivers make. If you are involved in an accident with a driver who fell asleep at the wheel or otherwise caused an accident because of his or her low energy level, speak with an experienced car accident attorney about filing a claim to seek monetary compensation for your damages. Contact The Law Offices of Thomas A. Morrissey today to schedule your initial consultation with Mr. Morrissey.

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The Law Offices of Thomas A. Morrissey

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