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Impaired Driving Accidents: More Than Just Operating under the Influence

Posted on in Fatigued Driver

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois personal injury lawyer,All too often, impaired driving accidents are attributed to drivers operating under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. While it is true that DUI is a primary cause for careless car accidents, injuries, and fatalities, another form of impaired driving is just as much to blame: drowsy driving. The Other Form of Impaired Driving The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 7,000 people have been killed over the last decade due to drowsy driving. Alcohol and other substances can and often do intensify the effects of an already drowsy state, making it that much easier for a driver to fall asleep behind the wheel, but even with the absence of alcohol or other drugs in a driver’s system, simply being too sleepy to drive is still a form of impaired driving. Contributing Factors Drowsy driving not influenced by the effects of drugs can happen at any time of day. If you are too tired to drive or become too tired after being in the car for some time, you run the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Studies show specific times of day tend to be riskier than others, however. The hours between midnight and 6 a.m., in particular, are common hours for drowsy driving incidents, thanks to the natural shift in our body’s circadian rhythm.This internal clock is what helps regulate our body’s sleep, and is often the reason drivers grow increasingly drowsy behind the wheel during these hours. Studies also show that drowsy driving crashes often take place when there are no other passengers in the car, and there is typically no sign of braking beforehand. Preventative Measures The number one way to prevent yourself from causing a drowsy driving collision is to ensure you get enough rest on a daily basis. This means making sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Practice staying vigilant if you must drive during those peak drowsiness periods. If you are crossing lanes or running into highway rumble strips - especially if you are alone - make the decision to pull over somewhere and park so you can rest before getting back on the road. Additionally, if you are already tired or plan on driving during late night or early morning hours, avoid drinking alcohol, which significantly increases your chances of causing a collision.

If you have been the victim of a drowsy driving-related crash, speak with a knowledgeable Lake County car accident attorney right away. The sooner you consult with a professional, the sooner you can protect your rights in the collision aftermath. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today at 847-662-3303 for a personal consultation.

Sources:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Drowsy+Driving

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Drowsy+Driving/scope-of-the-problem

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