Chadwick & Lakerdas

Protecting The Rights Of Injured People In Hyde Park Since 1986

Drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving

Driving while sleepy is a common occurrence in America. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adults in the United States have driven while drowsy, and 33 percent of people have fallen asleep behind the wheel.

With the prevalence of drowsy driving, many experts claim it is as dangerous as drunk driving. Recent studies found being awake for 18 hours straight makes you drive similar to a driver with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent. In Illinois, the BAC limit is .08 percent for drivers.

With the dangers of drowsy driving, it’s crucial for adults to know how to prevent driving while sleep-deprived. It may save you from major car accidents and thousands of dollars in vehicle repairs.

Steps to take before hitting the road

Luckily, there are ways to ensure you are well-rested before you sit behind the steering wheel, including:

  • Get a full night’s sleep -- it’s critical for adults to sleep around seven hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Check your medications -- some prescriptions cause drowsiness, so make sure not to take a drowsy medication before your morning commute.
  • Drink some caffeine -- If you can’t squeeze in a full seven hours of sleep, you will want to get a dose of caffeine to promote alertness. Try a cup of coffee before getting behind the wheel.
  • Bring a driving buddy -- Find someone who can keep you awake while driving or who may take turns driving during a long trip. It will keep you engaged and make the drive go by faster.

If you are already driving and too tired, pull over and rest for 20 minutes. It gives you time to relax and refocus before returning to the road. It also prevents any accidents or major injuries due to drowsy driving.

If you are injured in an accident caused by drowsy driving, you should seek immediate medical attention and consider filing for personal injury compensation. It may cover costly medical bills and vehicle repairs.

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