Most people understand just how dangerous it can be to drive while sleepy. A drowsy driver has a significantly higher chance of causing a car crash than a fully alert driver. However, some people may not think that they, themselves, are at risk of having a drowsy driving accident.
The reality is that anyone in West Virginia may be at risk of a car accident due to drowsy driving. Still, several misconceptions persist about the facts around these types of crashes. If you want to know how to protect yourself and your family, read on to dispel some of the more commonly held beliefs.
How a work schedule contributes to drowsy driving
Some people think that working the night shift or having two jobs is no big deal and that they are able to drive. Unfortunately, research shows that people who work two jobs are at higher risk for a drowsy driving car accident. Just working the night shift makes it almost six times more likely that a person will be in a drowsy driving crash.
How sleep disorders contribute to drowsy driving
It may not surprise you to learn that people with sleep apnea have an increased risk of car accidents if their condition is untreated. Fortunately, proper treatment helps them reduce that risk. Even for those who don't have a sleep disorder, many drivers in a drowsy driving crash report that they got a poor night's sleep the day before.
Characteristics of a drowsy driving crash
Though people often assume that commercial truck drivers are the most likely group to have a drowsy driving crash, that is incorrect. People under the age of 25 are actually the highest demographic for drowsy driving crashes. Most sleep-related crashes happen at night or in the middle of the afternoon to young men driving with no one else in the car. The car typically runs off the road without any braking.
Drowsy driving: Myths vs. facts
There are several points that many people accept as true when it comes to drowsy driving. Knowing the real truth may help keep you safe. Here are several facts about drowsy driving:
- Eating a big meal doesn't cause drowsiness
- Rolling down your window or blasting music won't help you stay awake
- You cannot "bank" your sleep on the weekends and deprive yourself during the week
- A "safe" driver can still have a drowsy driving crash
- You can fall asleep without realizing you are going to do so
Injured by a drowsy driver?
Unfortunately, even if you take every precaution, you cannot guarantee that other drivers will do the same. If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a car accident due to drowsy driving, you have several available legal options. An attorney can help you determine what to do next.