Don’t Drive While Fatigued During Your Road Trip this Summer
Summer is a wonderful time to take long road trips with family and friends. However, driving these long distances, especially during the night and early morning hours can be dangerous because there is more of a chance that you could become fatigued. Drowsy or fatigued driving can be as dangerous as distracted or drunk driving. Those who drive while tired or sleepy are at a greatly increased risk of becoming involved in a car crash.
According to the a 2005 study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of all adult drivers, about 168 million people, said they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy and more than one-third said they have fallen asleep at the wheel. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes every year are the direct result of driver fatigue. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
The National Road Safety Foundation offers a number of useful tips to combat fatigued or drowsy driving. First of all, make sure to get adequate sleep and food before you take a long trip. Plan the trip ahead of time so you don’t have to drive at night.
Take frequent breaks – at least once every two or three hours. Many drivers believe drinking coffee or high-caffeine energy drinks will keep them awake. But it takes about 30 minutes for the caffeine to enter your blood stream. So, plan ahead. Stop driving when you can’t seem to keep your eyes open. Pull over to rest. Stop and re-energize yourself with a snack. Remember, drowsy driving is negligent driving. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, contact an experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyer to obtain more information about your legal rights and options.