How To Avoid Drowsy Driving During Daylight Savings Time

As we adjust to the approaching time change, we have to increase our precautions while on the road. Not only will it get darker quicker but time change can worsen drowsiness and increase the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. These drowsy driving-related accidents are often fatal. Early November marks the beginning of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week as studies show that going too long without sleep can impair your ability to drive and even mimic the effects of driving under the influence. Additionally, the National Safety Council notes that drowsy driving accounts for 1,550 fatalities every year. The National Sleep Foundation reports that nearly half of American adults have driven drowsy with 20% admitting to falling asleep behind the wheel. As a result, car accident lawyers see an increase in cases and auto accident injuries related to drowsy driving during transitional time changes. We want to make sure you are taking the necessary steps to ensure your sleep health before getting behind the wheel. 

5 TIPS FOR AVOIDING DROWSY DRIVING

1. ESTABLISHING A CONSISTENT SLEEP SCHEDULE

Getting adequate sleep is the most important way to prevent yourself from drowsy driving. Make it a priority to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Take time to adjust your schedule gradually as you transition between Daylight Savings Time back to Standard Time to avoid drowsiness and fatigue. Avoid getting behind the wheel if you are experiencing any symptoms of drowsiness.

2. AVOID DRINKING ALCOHOL BEFORE DRIVING

When you consume alcohol, it induces feelings of sleepiness which then impairs your ability to drive. Never get behind the wheel while under the influence. Drowsy driving also mimics the effects of driving under the influence. According to the CDC, being awake for at least 18 hours is the same as someone having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. Avoiding alcohol and getting appropriate sleep before driving are key factors in preventing accidents on the road.

3. CHECK THE SIDE EFFECTS OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION

Always check the prescription and over-the-counter medication labels to see if drowsiness or fatigue could result from their use. Always plan for alternate or public transportation when taking medications that may result in drowsiness and never get behind the wheel.

4. DO NOT DRIVE DURING PEAK SLEEPINESS PERIOD

The US Department of Transportation recommends avoiding peak sleepiness periods between midnight and 6 a.m. and late afternoon. If you have to drive during peak sleepiness periods, make sure to keep accountable and stay alert for signs of drowsiness and make the call of when to pull over to rest.

5. TAKE A BREAK FROM DRIVING

The Department of Transportation recommends that you pull over for a nap when you notice signs of drowsiness while driving. Consuming one to two cups of coffee and pulling over for a short 20-minute nap in a safe place is recommended. This only works for a short time periods, if you are still drowsy after, consider an alternate route.

Get in Touch With A Car Accident Lawyer

We want to ensure your safety especially when you are behind the wheel. Driving while drowsy can significantly increase the likelihood of causing an accident. These accidents can cause injuries that are traumatic and may result in life-long damages. At Bear Republic Law, we want to be there for you every step of the way. If you or a loved one find yourself injured due to a drowsy driving-related accident, our qualified car accident lawyers are here to help. We are here to offer our experience with cases that surround driver fatigue.