Don’t Sleep on It: Preventing Drowsy Driving in Colorado
All drivers know that getting behind the wheel while drunk is a very dangerous idea—as is driving while distracted. But according to a recent AAA study, drowsy driving is just as dangerous, and it’s more common than you think. One in 25 drivers has reported falling asleep at the wheel. In Colorado, it’s even worse. Some of the roads with the highest sleep-related fatalities stretch across Colorado borders. So what can you do? Here are five ways to make drowsy driving nothing more than a dream.
- Get a good night’s sleep. We’ve all had sleepless nights, or are so busy that we simply don’t have time to get enough sleep. But this lack of sleep can have deadly results. In fact, just one or two hours of lost sleep can almost double your risk of crash. If you find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open before a long drive, take a quick nap before you leave. Even 30 extra minutes of sleep can make a huge difference on your safety.
- Don’t drive alone. If you’re going on a road trip, don’t go alone. Take a buddy with you to keep you entertained, and to take over the wheel every two hours or so. If you have someone in the car with you, you’re more likely to be alert, and you have a backup system in case you aren’t.
- Notice the signs. It’s hard to know if you’re actually too tired to drive, and it can be tempting to just keep going. But if you notice yourself daydreaming, drifting into another lane, hitting rumble strips, or having a hard time keeping your eyes open, you’re too tired to drive. Pull over and take a nap, or even check into a hotel for the night. The risk simply isn’t worth it.
- Don’t drive late at night. For some people who work late, this is unavoidable. But if you don’t have to drive between midnight and 6 am, don’t risk it. According to the National Safety Council, 50 percent of car accidents occur after sundown. This isn’t just due to drowsiness, it’s also due to driving in the dark and having limited visibility. It’s simple: If you don’t have to drive at night, don’t.
- Don’t rush. It’s tempting to speed, especially if you’re tired and want to get home and jump in bed. But speeding while drowsy is a dangerous combination. Instead of rushing to get to your destination, take it slow, and really pay attention to the road. Getting there safely is more important than not getting there at all.
Almost all drivers have experienced drowsy driving, and sometimes there’s nothing we can do to change that. If you’re regularly having trouble sleeping, or are experiencing insomnia, chances are you’ll be tired while driving. But if you follow these safety tips, you can greatly decrease the risk of accidents caused by lack of sleep.
At Bachus & Schanker, LLC, your safety is important to us. If you or someone you know were injured in an accident related to drowsy driving, contact our Denver car accident attorneys who can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve.
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