Falling Asleep While Driving
Everyone works late or stays out too late from time to time, but falling asleep while driving is one of the biggest risk factors for nighttime car accidents. If you are struggling with driver fatigue, it’s important to realize the risks and to learn steps to avoid the consequences. Here’s what you need to know about drowsy driving and how to avoid this from causing a car accident for you.
Drowsy Driving Risks – What Could Happen?
You’re tired. It was a long day at work. You just want to get home to get some sleep, but you have to drive to get there first. Most people have been in this type of situation before, but a person who is tired and unable to stay awake behind the wheel is at an increased risk of being in a car accident. You may think you can just get through it, but drowsy driving risks are numerous. Some reports indicate that drowsy driving can be just as worrisome as driving while intoxicated.
When you are tired, and behind the wheel, you are unable to react fast enough to what happens in front of you. You may not see an animal enter the roadway or hear the car in front of you stop hard. When this happens, you can be involved in a serious, sometimes fatal accident. If you are tired, don’t drive the vehicle.
It’s important to remember that driving drowsy does not only impact you. It impacts anyone in the vehicle with you, those on the road with you, as well as those on a bike or walking on the road. There are many risks present if you decide to drive tired.
Taking a Sleep Aid Before Driving Is Risky
One of the most common causes for driver fatigue isn’t getting a poor nights’ sleep but taking medications. Many medications, including the over the counter pain killers you may be taking according to the directions, can cause you to be tired. Taking a sleep aid before driving is also a common cause for complications and accidents. These medications make you tired, reduce your ability to focus, and limit your motor control. As a result of this, you can easily end up in a car accident.
Read the directions on all of the medications you take. Look at the safety warnings. If they say you should not operate heavy machinery or drive while taking them, avoid taking those sleep aids before you head out on the road.
Sleeping While Driving and Car Insurance Claims
What if you are in a car accident? Here’s an example of something that happens to many people. You didn’t get a good night’s sleep, and you doze off behind the wheel. Sleeping while driving can take just a second – just closing your eyes for a moment can cause an accident to happen. This type of accident can cause you to hit another vehicle. Now, there is damage to your car and another person’s car.
Car insurance generally provides coverage for the damage you do to another person’s vehicle in this type of situation. It falls under your general liability insurance. If you have collision insurance for your vehicle, your auto insurance may cover that loss as well. However, this can be seen as a type of reckless driving, which can mean your insurance rates will increase.
Falling Asleep Driving and Your License
What can falling asleep driving do to your license? If you are in an accident like this, the police can issue you a ticket for the car accident. They may determine the cause was reckless driving. This puts points on your license. Over time, too many points can cause you to have your license suspended or your driving privileges removed.
How to Prevent Driver Fatigue
What if you just need to get home and have to drive to get there? It is never a good idea to drive tired. Falling asleep while driving is dangerous. The goal you have, then, is to wake yourself up. You may be able to do this by using loud music or rolling the window down on a cold night. However, it may be even better to pull over to the side of the road and call for help. Taking a 20-minute nap before your trip may also be able to help you to stay awake on the road. Avoid driving long distances when you are tired, too. Take routine breaks to minimize your risks.
Falling asleep while driving isn’t safe for anyone. If you have to file a claim for this type of loss, you could end up paying significantly for it. To avoid this, try to avoid instances when you are on the road and fatigued. If you are driving tired, take steps to prevent an accident from occurring. Being a responsible driver is critical.