A woman from Bland, MO was involved in a single car accident in Gasconade County shortly after midnight on July 29th. Her vehicle crossed the center line, she then over-corrected and traveled off the side of the road where her car crashed into a tree. While her condition prior to the crash is unknown, Columbia Missouri car accident lawyers point out that this type of accident is very common from Drowsy Driving.
Drowsy Driving is the phrase that has been coined by the National Sleep Foundation to bring awareness to the public about the dangers of driving while overly tired or while sleepy. And this is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.
Columbia MO Accident Lawyers Join Drowsy Driving Prevention Week
Over the last 10 to 15 years numerous studies have been done on drowsy driving and its effects on our nation's highways and roads. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a new study that shows previous estimates are too low. The National Sleep Foundation has numerous tips and recommendations that we want to share with Missouri drivers.
Missouri Drowsy Driving Information from AAA Foundation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- About 1 in 6 deadly traffic crashes are caused by drowsy driving.
- 1 in 8 drowsy driving crashes result in hospitalization.
- 1 in 14 drowsy driving crashes had a vehicle towed.
- There are 1,550 drowsy driving traffic deaths per year nationwide.
- Drowsy driving leads to 71,000 injuries from more than 100,000 traffic accidents each year.
- Drivers aged 16 to 24 are nearly twice as likely to be involved in a drowsy driving crash.
- 57% of drowsy driving crashes involved the driver crossing into other lanes or driving off the road.
- More than half occur during the first hour on the road.
- 55% of drowsy driving occurs on high-speed divided highways.
- 26% of drowsy driving occurs between noon and 5 p.m.
Drowsy Driving Warning Signs for Columbia Drivers
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking and/or heavy eyelids
- Difficulty keeping reveries or daydreams at bay
- Trouble keeping your head up
- Drifting from your lane, swerving, tailgating and/or hitting rumble strips
- Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven
- Missing exits or traffic signs
- Yawning repeatedly
- Feeling restless, irritable, or aggressive
Drowsy driving results in two common types of traffic accident. Either the driver falls asleep and loses all control of the vehicle or the driver nods off and then realizes it and wakes up in fear and confusion and then over-compensates causing the crash. The car crash in Gasconade County Missouri the other night fits the classic drowsy driving scenario. When we are tired, sleepy, and drowsy our reaction time is impaired, we don't see as well and our reflexes are slower. When a drowsy driver realizes they have nodded off and jolt awake quite often they over-react and over-compensate for the lane drift. This is the second common type of accident. The driver's over-correction causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle then crash into another vehicle, the median, or something on the side of the road.
Preventative Advice for Columbia Drivers
Drowsy driving is a serious form of distracted driving and causes thousands of accidents on our Missouri roadways each year. Prevention is the best course of action.
- Get plenty of sleep each night, 7 to 9 hours.
- Give yourself plenty of time for stretch breaks on long trips.
- Stop and stretch or take a nap when you realize you are driving drowsy.
- Avoid driving during your routine sleep periods.
- Use caffeine and avoid alcohol and medications with drowsy side-effects.
Columbia Missouri car accident lawyers shared this information from the National Sleep Foundation's drowsy driving website. If you want more information about what to do if you are involved in a drowsy driving traffic accident, contact us to schedule an appointment with a Columbia car accident lawyer.
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