Did you know that four drivers in ten admit to falling asleep while they were driving?  A 2010 survey conducted by AAA reported the startling statistic, and further found that one driver in ten had done so in the past year.  So it's common, and no doubt a bad idea, but just how dangerous is driving when you are tired?

Here is a little reality check: one in six deadly car crashes results from a driver who was too sleepy to be behind the wheel, estimates the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Staying awake for 20 hours is equivalent in some cognitive ability tests to having a blood alcohol of content of .05.  As dangerous as it is to drive when you have not had enough sleep, New Jersey is the only state with a sleep deprivation law on the books.  But all 50 states have multiple drunk driving laws. Driving while you are drunk gets a lot of press but people who die because someone fell asleep at the wheel are just as dead. Tired driving hurts just as many families and ruins just as many lives.  In a busy society, however, it is much easier to climb behind the wheel of a car while you are just a little sleep deprived and life must go on than it is for many people to after they have tied one on.  Sleep deprivation is a symptom of a busy culture. There are some steps you can take to be sure that you drive safely.  1.       Heed the warning signs!  If you can't keep your eyes open, pull over and call for help.  Have a friend drive you home.  Nothing is worth hurting yourself or someone else.  2.      Watch over-the-counter medicine labels carefully.  Heed labels that warn of drowsiness.  If it says "do not operate machinery or drive" while using the medication, stay home or have someone drive you. 3.      Do not rely on caffeine to keep you awake.  There is no guarantee that it will and you may be tricking yourself into a false sense of security.  Better to pull off the road and take a nap.  That double latte` is no substitute for the 6 hours of sleep AAA recommends before a long drive. 4.      If you find yourself weaving in and out of your lane, driving too close to the person in front of you, or jerking awake suddenly, pull off the road immediately. If you have been the victim of an automobile accident caused by a driver that did not get adequate sleep, you may have questions about your rights and your options under the law.  Contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney for information that can help you understand your rights.  Call Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys at 888-348-2616 for information about a free initial consultation.  Download more free helpful information by accessing the resource guide Ten Essential Steps You Must take to Protect Your Injury Claim. 

Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?

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