While we are all aware of how dangerous drowsy driving is, it seems as though “official statistics from the U.S. government indicate that only approximately 1%-2% of all motor vehicle crashes involve drowsy driving,” which might not be a true reflection of how serious the problem actually is [Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety]. The fact is, it isn’t always obvious when a crash occurs as a result of drowsy driving as there isn’t a way to detect it like there is with drunk driving which may be why statistics are being underreported. However, after research was carried out by the AAA, it was determined that drowsy driving may actually be a factor in almost 10% of crashes.
CNN highlighted some details from the research that was done, which we are sharing with you below:
- The study was carried out between October 2010 and December 2013.
- During the study, more than 3,500 people were monitored from six locations across the U.S.
- Drivers were monitored using in-vehicle cameras and other data collection equipment. AAA stated that “drowsiness was assessed using a validated measure that is based on the percentage of time that a person’s eyes [were] closed.”
- Researchers studied 701 collisions that transpired, where drowsiness was found to be a factor in 8.8% to 9.5% of them.
- For the crashes that resulted in serious property damage, airbag deployment, or injury, sleepiness was a factor in 10.6%-10.8% of those accidents.
As you can see based on the data, drowsy driving has been and is a recurring issue society struggles to overcome. The fact is, when an individual, whether they drive a passenger vehicle or a commercial truck, fails to get in at least seven to eight hours of sleep each day, they put their health in jeopardy and increase their level of risk while driving [Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. So, what can drivers, especially those whose job requires them to spend most of their day or night operating a commercial truck do to help combat drowsy driving? Below are a few suggestions provided on behalf of Advanced Career Institute.
- Keep it cool inside your car or the cab of the truck. With winter quickly approaching and temperatures already beginning to drop, you may find yourself putting on your heater. While this is normal, you don’t want the temperatures to get too high to where “the warmth reminds [you] of your cozy bed.” Instead, you need to be driving with temperatures that will keep you awake and alert.
- Sing along with the radio. Quiet and calming music is only going to make you sleepier, especially if you didn’t get enough rest the night before. Therefore, consider putting on some tunes that are upbeat and will get you to sing along.
- Eat healthy foods that are known to increase energy levels. Sure, coffee is good every now and then for a quick pick me up, but only so much coffee is going to get you through your long day. Rather than consume too much caffeine than your body needs, switch it out for nutritious foods that boost energy levels such as almonds, fruit, and protein bars.
- Take power naps. If you operate a large truck and are required to drive for long periods at a time, you may need to pull over and take a power nap if you find yourself becoming drowsy. Accidents involving trucks are some of the worst types that occur so it is important that if your eyes begin to shut or you feel yourself falling asleep, you stop the vehicle for a power nap or at least some fresh air.
- Stay hydrated. Not only is water essential to leading a healthy lifestyle, but it can help you to stay alert and prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
Now, if you have recently been involved in a truck accident in Chicago with a drowsy driver or you were responsible for causing the collision, it would be in your best interest to contact the truck accident lawyers at Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. During this painful and possibly even stressful time, it is important for you to have all the support necessary as some accident cases are more complicated than others.
To schedule a consultation with our firm so that we can review with you the various ways we can help you along with what the benefits are of hiring a truck crash lawyer following an accident, call us at 1-312-384-1920.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601
You can read more accident articles here