The hazards of driving while drowsy

It's common knowledge that driving while sleepy is not very safe. Nevertheless, nearly one in three drivers in a AAA survey admitted to having driven while drowsy in the previous month. One cause of this problem may be the proliferation of sleep aid prescriptions in Illinois and other states throughout the country. According to a Consumer Reports study, roughly 20 percent of survey participants on these types of drugs said that they had gotten behind the wheel within seven hours of taking a dose.

Unfortunately, drowsy driving is a problem that's very hard to avoid. Public transit is simply not an option in most parts of the country, and that forces people to get out and drive even when they shouldn't. Even worse, sleep impairment can negatively affect driving skills as much as alcohol intoxication. According to the National Sleep Foundation, staying awake for 24 hours or more is equivalent to having a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.

There are a few steps people can take on their own to avoid drowsy driving. One is to simply get adequate sleep, seven hours or more, every night. Those who get enough sleep but still feel tired throughout the day should talk to their doctor. Certain disorders can cause someone to repeatedly wake throughout the night, preventing them from going through normal sleeping patterns. When driving, people who feel drowsy should pull over if they can't find ways to say alert.

The victim of a car crash caused by a drowsy driver may be able to obtain compensation for their losses. These types of accidents can result in lost wages, property damage, hospital bills, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. No matter the circumstances of an accident, a lawyer can help evaluate the situation and recommend a legal course of action.

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