When I was a kid, my family would load up the station wagon and drive through the night.  I have pleasant memories of curling up on the back seat and watching the lights until I drifted off.  As a parent, I've tried nighttime travel.  There are certainly benefits: the kids doze off and no one whines "I am so bored.", "She looked at me funny!", and "Are we there yet?".  But, am I trading the danger of distraction for the danger of drowsy driving?
 
Drowsy driving is a danger on long car trips, especially if you are driving late at night or early in the morning. There are two ways that sleepy drivers can cause Missouri car crashes.
 
1. Tired drivers have delayed reaction times.
 
2.  Drivers mat fall asleep at the wheel and run off the road, out of their lane, or into another car. 
 
Either way, a tired driver is a danger to himself, his passengers, and anyone else on the road.
 
What can you do to prevent Missouri drowsy driving accidents and protect the safety of your family? The Independence, MO auto accident lawyers at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys offer these tips:

 
1. Get a good night's sleep before leaving on a long trip. 
 
2. Take a break at least every two hours or 100 miles.
 
3. Don't drive for more than eight hours in a single day. 
 
4. Avoid driving between the hours of 2 AM and 6 AM.
 
5. Know the signs of drowsy driving:

  • Is your vision blurring?
    Do your eyelids feel heavy?
  • Do you feel unfocused?
  • Have you drifted off of the road?
  • Do you find yourself slipping into daydreams or jolting awake?

 
If you find yourself fighting sleep, don't rely on the radio or an open window to keep you awake. If at all possible, take a break and let someone else do the driving. If not, pull over for a short nap or a cup of coffee. The break may save your life.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.