Fatigued driving in Miami Beach and other South Florida communities is all too often the cause of serious accidents and collisions. Fatigued drivers can lose control of their vehicles and may even drift off behind the wheel. They can make poor judgements and have such poor motor control that their driving ability may be on par with that of drivers under the influence.
Unfortunately, many of us have busy lives and end up tired at least part of the time. So how can we avoid car crashes? Luckily, there are ways to ensure you stay alert on the road:
1) If possible, avoid driving during peak sleepy hours.
Most collisions related to fatigued drivers occur between midnight and 6 AM. This is because most of us are hardwired for sleep at night, meaning we are naturally more sleepy during these times. Avoid driving during these hours if at all possible.
2) Get adequate sleep.
If you need to drive to work or you’re leaving on a road trip, aim to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep the night before. This may mean heading to bed early, relaxing a little more before bed, and cutting off all sources of light or noise in your house to ensure you get a restful sleep.
3) Go easy on energy drinks and caffeinated drinks.
These can interrupt your sleep cycle make it harder to get to sleep, especially if you tend to drink them later in the afternoon or evening. If you must have caffeinated drinks or energy drinks, stick to one or two and try to confine them to the morning hours, so the effects have plenty of time to wear off by the time bedtime rolls around.
4) Break up longer drives.
You should take a short rest every 20 minutes or so if you’re driving for a longer stretch, to ensure you get a little bit of rest and stay fresh during driving. If you’re going on a road trip, share the driving responsibilities with someone else.
5) Look out for unexplained fatigue.
If you’re sleeping a full night every night but still feel tired and find yourself yawning during the day, it’s time to visit the doctor. Some sleep disorders can result in significant daytime fatigue – serious enough to be dangerous – and you may be unaware of having an issue until it causes a fender bender or a crash. Get treated for any unexplained fatigue and have your medication checked to ensure they don’t cause drowsiness.
6) Know when it’s time to pull over.
If you’re yawning repeatedly, it means you are tired enough to be a hazard. Consider it this way: every time you yawn, you’re closing your eyes for a second, which is enough to cause an accident. Also, if you can’t remember the past few seconds of driving time, you could be falling into micro-sleeps or may be so tired you simply cannot focus on the road. These are all signs you should pull over and take a rest or let someone else take over the driving.
7) Wear sunglasses and use your sun visor.
Avoid glare, which can tire out your eyes and make you feel more fatigued and tired. Protecting your eyes is also important to prevent dry eyes, which can make you feel groggy and which can be a distraction.
If you feel tired, keep in mind that the only solution is a good rest. Loud music, opening your windows or playing loud music will not take the fatigue away and still makes you a dangerous driver if you can’t keep your mind on the road.
If you’ve been injured by a reckless, fatigued driver, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. We can tell you whether you have a claim and can help you understand how much your claim may be worth.