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Exhaustion can kill: The dangers of drowsy driving

In addition to both distraction and impairment due to drugs or alcohol, drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. Being tired while behind the wheel may not seem like a dangerous behavior, but it is actually quite risky, and it can significantly increase your chances of being involved in an accident.

It is impossible to accurately say how many crashes drowsy driving causes every year, but studies have shown that exhaustion and fatigue significantly decrease a driver's performance and ability to make safe decisions. Drowsy driving puts everyone on California roads at risk of fatal or serious injury.

Preventing accidents caused by drowsiness

Preventing drowsy driving sounds easy enough, but it can be quite difficult to communicate how dangerous this seemingly benign behavior can be. Many drivers are simply unaware how chronic fatigue can affect their driving and the safety of others. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are various ways to combat this type of dangerous behavior, including:

  • Get enough sleep at night
  • Avoid driving after drinking alcohol
  • Avoid getting behind the wheel while on certain medications
  • Be aware of signs that could indicate drowsiness
  • Avoid driving if dealing with certain sleep disorders

Tiredness and exhaustion could lead to slower reaction times and less ability to pay attention to the road.

Indicators of a drowsy driver

As every person is different, it is difficult to say how tired is too tired to drive. Everyone must decide if they would be a danger to themselves or others by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle in their particular state. Certain signs and behaviors could indicate that a driver is drowsy, including swerving, drifting into other traffic lanes and driving at erratic speeds.

Drivers who cause harm to others due to negligent or reckless actions are financially liable for any damages. If you believe that a drowsy driver caused you or a loved one harm, you may have grounds for legal action.

Your rights as an accident victim

After a car accident, you may be unsure of your rights or uncertain if you have grounds for legal action. Regardless of the circumstances of your situation, you have the right to know your options. By seeking a complete case evaluation with an experienced lawyer, you can know how to proceed and how to secure any potential restitution that could aid in your full and fair recovery.

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