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Driving while drowsy, a dangerous trend

| May 20, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Drowsy driving is to blame for 9.5% of all car accidents, according to a AAA study made back in 2018. In a survey, also conducted by AAA, nearly one third of respondents admitted to having trouble keeping their eyes open behind the wheel at least once in the previous month. Kentucky residents should know that this trend is growing and is also, where there are no comprehensive public transit systems, inevitable.

Yet drivers can reduce the risk for a crash by taking precautions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends seven hours of sleep every night. Even drivers feel tired even with that, they may have a disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. Also, if they take medications like antidepressants, antihistamines or muscle relaxers, these will naturally cause drowsiness. They may ask their doctor about changing the timing of each dose.

On long trips, drivers may want a companion who can take over periodically. When alone, drivers may consider pulling over for a nap: any longer than 20 minutes, though, and drivers are liable to wake up groggy. Next, drivers can increase their alertness, albeit for only a few hours, with 150 mg of caffeine. A 12-ounce coffee contains 142 mg. Lastly, drivers should know the signs of drowsiness: drooping eyelids, constant yawning and so on.

Since drowsy driving is negligent, those who cause a motor vehicle accident in their drowsiness will be at fault. Of course, both parties may be at fault to some degree, in which case the courts will distribute that fault. This might affect the chances of recovering damages, so accident victims may want to retain a lawyer if they are serious about filing a claim. Personal injury lawyers often have a network of professionals who can help build a case up, including crash investigators.