Alarming new numbers released by AAA suggest drowsy driving is a much bigger problem than previously thought.
The American Automobile Association put cameras in thousands of cars and followed drivers for months.
The cameras were focused on their faces. Some of those drivers got into accidents, and the cameras recorded the drivers nodding off.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the problem is about eight times higher than federal estimates indicate.
Researchers in the study found that 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of crashes resulting in significant property damage involved drowsiness. Federal estimates indicate drowsiness is a factor in only 1 to 2 percent of crashes.
Our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know that drowsy driving is a big issue. There are some simple things everybody can do to be a little safer and keep from dozing off behind the wheel.
The most common symptoms of drowsy driver include:
- Having trouble keeping your eyes open
- Drifting from your lane
- Not remembering the last few miles driven
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, we recommend pulling over to a safe place and taking at least a 20 minute nap. You only need about 20 minutes to recharge yourself so that you can safely operate your vehicle again.
The most important thing is to get enough sleep to begin with. You need at least seven hours of sleep per night. You should also travel at times of the day when you are normally awake, avoid heavy foods and avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment.
If you are planning to drive for an extended period of time, make sure to schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles, and maybe consider traveling with another person so you can take turns driving.