“As you become more fatigued, it becomes more difficult to pay attention and react quickly while driving,” said Sam Fleishman, MD, of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
Drowsy driving is probably a bigger problem than you think. As a matter of fact, nearly 20 percent of all car accidents in Boca Raton and elsewhere between 1999 and 2008 involved a driver who was fatigued, according to EHS Today.
Our Boca Raton accident lawyers understand that a number of studies have concluded that the side effects of not getting enough sleep are awfully similar to the side effects of being legally drunk, or having the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. For that reason, officials with the AASM and other safe driving advocates nationwide are asking drivers to make sure that they’re well-rested before setting out on their summer vacation road trips. Luckily, there are a few safety precautions that you can take to help to reduce these risks. Review the following safety tips and share them with your loved ones to help to make our roadways safer for everyone.
Safety Tips to Avoid Drowsy Driving:
-Get on a health kick. Make sure that you’re getting regular exercise, you’re eating healthy and you’re avoiding everyday consumption of caffeine and nicotine.
-Get yourself on a schedule. Make sure that you’re sleeping between 7 and 8 hours each night.
-Get comfy. Make sure that your bedroom is dark, quiet and that it’s at a comfortable temperature.
-Limit intake. Be sure to limit your food, liquid and alcohol intake before bedtime.
-Regulate. Only use caffeine when needed. Avoid everyday consumption and only use it in moderation.
-Break it up. If you’re a long road trip, take several 15 to 20 minute breaks to allow yourself to get out of the car, walk around and stretch your body.
Do you try to push through drowsiness behind the wheel? That’s one of the worst things you can do. Don’t think that you can be woken up with just a blast of the radio, some wind from an open window or some chewing of gum. These are only short-lived fixes and won’t do the trick. The only effective way to reverse sleepiness and fatigue is to sleep it off.
Drivers are asked to take these safety precautions to help to avoid an accident. Safety behind the wheel is all about preparation.
If you feel sleepy behind the wheel, it’s important for you to stop driving. You can pull over in a safe spot and take a nap or switch positions with a passenger. Whatever you do, you don’t want to push through the sleepiness. That’s one of the most dangerous things you can do and it could result in a potentially fatal accident.