Every day, millions of people get behind the wheels of their cars and hit the roads. Some people do so to commute to and from work or school. Others are running errands. And of course, there are people who drive because they enjoy doing so.
Just the same, there are people who drive for a living. Truck drivers and bus drivers, for example, spend many hours on the road and are paid for their service.
Drowsy driving remains a problem among people who drive for a living. Even with laws in place to protect against it, some people don’t take the breaks required to remain alert.
Drowsiness affects your ability to drive safely in a number of ways, including:
- Slower reaction time
- Inability to make good decisions
- Difficulty paying attention to the road and surroundings
Commercial drivers are more likely than others to drive drowsy. However, there are other groups of people who may run into this trouble:
- Anyone with a sleep disorder
- People who take medication that makes them drowsy
- Shift workers
- Anyone who drinks alcohol before driving
The most common warning signs of drowsy driving include:
- Inability to stay in your lane of travel
- Frequent yawning
- Missing a turn or exit
- Short-term memory loss
If you personally experience one or more of these warning signs, you shouldn’t stay on the road. Moving to safety and planning out your next move is the better idea.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing a recent survey, approximately four percent of people have fallen asleep while driving over the past 30 days. When you consider how many drivers there are, this is a huge number.
Even though drowsy driving remains a problem, it’s preventable with the following actions:
- Get more sleep
- Improve sleeping habits
- Talk to your doctor about a potential sleep disorder
Even if you’re 100 percent alert, a drowsy driver could cause an accident that leads to injuries and damage to your vehicle. If this occurs, do the following:
- Move to safety
- Call 911 to request an ambulance
- Receive medical treatment
- Review your insurance policy and file a claim
Your health is top priority, but you should also focus on the things you can do to hold the negligent party, such as a trucker or bus driver, responsible for causing the crash.