According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.2% of drivers polled said that in the past 30 days they had fallen asleep while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatigued driving leads to more than 100,000 car accidents annually, while other experts claim that the number may be even higher. A number of car and truck accidents in Fort Lauderdale and across Florida each year are caused by drowsy driving.
Truck drivers must abide by certain rules to reduce the risk of fatigued driving. For example, commercial truck drivers must keep a log of working hours, driving hours, and hours of rest. They must also take a certain number of breaks while driving. While these regulations have helped to reduce truck and car accidents in Fort Lauderdale and across the country, there is no one regulating drivers of passenger vehicles. If you are a driver, you can easily cause a collision with a truck if you drive drowsy. To prevent this:
1) Be aware of symptoms of sleep disorders. If you snore, wake up frequently during the night, wake up tired, or experience unusual fatigue during the day, visit your health care practitioner. Untreated sleep disorders cause many traffic accidents in Fort Lauderdale and across Florida each year. There are treatments available that can help you get a good night’s sleep so that you can drive safely.
2) Use caution if you use sleeping pills. The FDA has recently introduced new rules about the dosing of some sleeping pills. Sleeping pills may leave you fatigued in the mornings and some studies suggest that the drugs may be linked to early-morning collisions. Be cautious about taking the pills if you will be driving early in the morning. If you do need to take medication for a sleeping disorder, make sure that you understand the side effects and take the smallest dose you and your doctor agree upon.
3) Take drowsy driving as seriously as drunk driving. The problem with drowsy driving is that many people dismiss fatigue easily. While many drivers are aware of the risks of drunk driving accidents in Fort Lauderdale and other communities, there is less stigma attached to driving when tired. Many drivers see fatigue as just a part of modern life and drive even when very tired. This type of approach leads to accidents. Just as you would not drive after drinking, do not drive if you feel too fatigued, too unfocused, or too upset to drive safely.
If you have been injured in a car collision in South Florida, you will want to speak with a personal injury attorney before you make any decisions about insurance offers or any other offers. You deserve to know your rights and you deserve to have someone in your corner, representing your interests. You do not have to try to recover from a car crash on your own. Contact the Flaxman Law Group today for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case.