It’s estimated that over 60% of the drivers in Georgia are guilty of operating a motor vehicle while experiencing the symptoms of fatigue. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that drowsy driving is very similar to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol; for example, exhaustion can impair a motorist’s judgement, accuracy, vision, and reaction times. Because a fatigued driver is a dangerous threat to anyone on the road, law enforcement officials in Georgia can issue DUI tickets for “driving impaired under exhaustion.”
A driver needs to pull over if they start experiencing the symptoms of driver fatigue:
- Difficulty focusing
- “Nodding off”
- Excessive blinking
- Dissociating and losing time
- Running lights or missing exits
- Feeling restless
The Georgia Department of Transportation estimates that over 1,500 people were killed by drowsy drivers in 2018. Sleep specialists at the National Sleep Foundation link drowsy driving accidents to a lack of quality sleep, untreated sleep disorders, and driving during established “sleeping” hours. The people most at risk of drowsy driving include commercial drivers, business travelers, young motorists, people with chronic sleep disorders, and shift workers.
You can avoid a “fall-asleep crash” by following these 10 safety tips:
- Get a good night’s sleep – about 7-8 hours – every night, and especially before a long drive.
- Do not drive if you haven’t slept in over 24 hours.
- Immediately pull over if you notice the warning signs of fatigue.
- Give yourself a safe time cushion to reach your destination.
- Avoid taking medications that can lead to drowsiness if you plan to drive.
- Pull over and take a 20-minute nap if you’re experiencing fatigue or have been driving for over 2 hours.
- Drive with a friend who can take the wheel and give you a break.
- Drink coffee if you need a morning pick-me-up, but don’t rely on caffeine to keep you awake.
- Avoid fatty foods and sugary drinks that can exacerbate the symptoms of fatigue.
- Avoid driving during the hours you would normally be resting or asleep.
Have You Been Injured in a Collision? Contact Pratt Clay, LLC Today!
Cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles – all drivers in Georgia need to exercise reasonable care when operating a vehicle, no matter the type. If a drowsy or sleeping driver is responsible for a collision, the injured parties may have grounds to pursue restitution through civil litigation. If you require legal representation or guidance after such an accident, contact the car accident attorneys at Pratt Clay, LLC as soon as possible. We can investigate your case, calculate the maximum value of your claim, and litigate on your behalf to obtain a favorable settlement or verdict.