You're driving down the road, and then something happens. Your eyelids feel heavy, your head nods and your mind begins to wander. It's scary to think that you could fall asleep while driving, but it's a major problem throughout the country.
According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 60 percent of Americans have operated a motor vehicle while feeling drowsy over the past year. Even worse, 37 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving.
Since drowsy driving can cause an accident, you should never ignore the warning signs that you're too tired to be behind the wheel. These include the following:
- Frequent blinking and yawning
- Difficulty focusing on the road and your surroundings
- Inability to remember the last few miles traveled
- Irritable and restless feelings
- Drifting out of your lane of travel
- Striking an object on the road, such as a sign or construction cone
If you notice any of these warning signs of drowsy driving, you should immediately pull your vehicle to safety. From there, wake yourself up as to make a decision on what to do next. Even if you're close to home, you should play it safe by getting some rest before driving again or by calling for a ride.
Even if you're obsessive about protecting against drowsy driving, it doesn't mean that other drivers take the same approach. As noted by the National Sleep Foundation poll, many people drive drowsy.
If one of these drivers causes an accident, call 911, administer first aid and receive treatment at a local hospital. From there, you can file an insurance claim and take action to seek compensation from the negligent party.