Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

Southern California Personal Injury & Business Lawyers

951.813.2614 Murrieta
619.618.2979 San Diego

Drowsy driving and how to avoid it

Almost one third of respondents to a AAA study admitted that at least once in the past month, they drove in such a drowsy condition that they had trouble keeping their eyes open. Drowsy driving, California residents should know, can be almost as bad as drunk driving in terms of its effects. The National Sleep Foundation says that being awake for 24 hours straight can be like having a BAC of .10.

Not sleeping for a minimum of seven hours each night, as the CDC recommends, is the number one cause of drowsiness. Other times, though, people will take prescription sleep aids and go out on the road after getting less than the seven to eight hours of sleep that the labels recommend. Antidepressants, antihistamines, muscle relaxers and anxiety drugs also cause drowsiness, so those who take them may want their doctor to reschedule dosages to avoid conflicts with their commute.

To avoid drowsy driving, one must get adequate sleep. If a driver technically meets the minimum recommended amount of sleep but still feels drowsy during the day, this may signify a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. On long trips when drowsiness seems unavoidable, drivers may want to consume at least 150 milligrams of caffeine. Having a companion to talk to and switch places with can also be beneficial.

In the event of an auto accident, the police will determine who was at fault. Drowsy driving may be noted as a form of negligence. Those who are the innocent victims in the crash may not have all of their damages covered by their own insurance company, in which case they may wish to file against the drowsy driver's insurer. This is where legal representation may come into play. The lawyer may strive for a settlement covering lost wages, pain and suffering and whatever else applies.

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