Articles Posted in Driver Fatigue

With the clocks moving forward an hour this past week, this is a good time to have discussions about drowsy driving in Hollywood and across Florida. Daylight Savings Time is intended to make things more convenient by making sure we’re not heading to work and school in the dark during the winter months and it allows us to enjoy more sunshine in the spring and summer. However, that comes with a cost

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Some experts believe the week after we adjust our clocks can mean an increase in traffic accidents as our bodies adjust to the new sleep schedule. For many Florida residents, setting the clocks forward an hour means going to bed at the same time and rising at the same time, which means an hour less of sleep, which is linked to slower response times and increased drowsiness.

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A new study from the AAA has found that one out of ten car accidents may be linked to drowsy driving, making fatigued drivers more of a concern than many individuals thought. Previously, estimates had suggested only 1-2% of traffic collision were caused by drowsy drivers. The AAA study was more thorough than previous research, however, and included a larger pool of drivers examined.

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The results of the AAA study come from following 3,500 drivers between 2010 and 2013. During the study period, the drivers under observation were involved in over 700 accidents and fatigued driving was found to be a factor in as many as 9.5% of the crashes. Over 10% of the crashes linked to serious results, such as injury or airbag deployment, were linked to drowsy driving.

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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.

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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:

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Are you feeling a little more sluggish today? Were you maybe more fatigued yesterday? For some, getting used to Daylight Savings Time takes a day or two. That makes this week a perfect time to discuss fatigued driving—a key safety topic on Hollywood and South Florida streets.

Although it is difficult to determine how many collisions are caused by fatigue—few at-fault drivers admit to being sleepy or recklessly driving when dangerously tired—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that 100,000 or more crashes each year may be caused by tired drivers.

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Every year, tens of thousands of Americans lose their lives in roadway accidents and tens of thousands of Hollywood and Florida drivers are injured in the state. While you might not be able to do much about the driving habits of those around you, there are things you can do to make 2016 the safest year ever for you as a driver.

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Building new habits and setting new intentions for your driving can make you a stronger driver and can reduce your risk of an accident. Here are ten habits that can make you more confident and safer on the road:

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Clocks have been turned back within the past week, but does that mean you’re more at risk of a car accident caused by fatigued driving? The reality is that switching clocks back even one hour can wreak havoc with your internal clock, cause insomnia, and can increase the likelihood of some types of accidents.

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One problem is that internal clocks are not as easy to adjust as the clock on your mobile devices. Even though you may feel like you have adjusted well, you may be more fatigued than usual. You may especially be more fatigued in the mornings and in the evenings, since it gets darker sooner. If you do feel affected by the time change, consider giving yourself extra time to get work or leave the driving to someone else if you feel too fatigued to operate your car safely.

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If you are planning a road trip sometime this year, your phone can help you to stay safe on the road. While distracted driving in Tamarac and other communities is a serious concern and why you will never want to use your mobile device while driving, there is no doubt that phones can make long car trips easier and more fun.

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If you are traveling by car, there are several things you can do with your phone to make the process easier:

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The last two months of the year have two major holidays. For many families, this is not only an exhilarating time of year, but also a very stressful season simply because there is so much to do. Unfortunately, stress can be a major contributor to traffic accidents in Hollywood and other communities for a number of reasons:

1) Stress can lead to fatigue.

Experts agree that fatigued driving in Hollywood and all communities can lead to collisions. In fact, research has shown that tired drivers have some of the same slowed response times as drunk drivers and make some of the same mistakes behind the wheel. In some cases, drivers get so fatigued that they fall asleep while driving, causing their car to veer off the road.

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Recent studies have shown that one of the most dangerous obstacles to overcome when driving doesn’t have to do with other drivers, poor road design in Hollywood or your community, or the many other things that we tend to associate with road safety problems. Instead, our minds – and specifically, daydreaming – contribute to a large number of car accidents. In fact, studies suggest that daydreams contribute to more collisions than cell phones.

If you want to stay safe on the roads and avoid traffic collisions in Hollywood or your community, you will want to do a quick mental check before you hop in the car. The simple precaution could save your life. A mental check means:

1) Checking for fatigue.

If you are fatigued to the point where your mind feels almost buzzed, you are not safe to drive. Fatigue affects a lot more than just your response times. It can also affect your ability to process information correctly and to make it hard for you to focus. It can also leave you more likely to daydream. If you are tired, take another method of transportation home. Fatigued driving in Hollywood and other communities already causes far too many collisions each year.

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Your morning commute is filled with unseen dangers. The distracted driver next to you worrying about a morning meeting or your own fatigue combined with heavy traffic can all conspire to cause a serious traffic collision in Hollywood or your community. To stay safe on the roads as you head to work, try these tips for a safer drive:

1) Use public transport. Public transportation accidents in Hollywood and other Florida communities are far rarer than car collisions. Even switching to public transport part of the time can reduce your chances of an accident by giving you a break from a harrowing commute.

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2) Car pool. Just as with public transport, having someone else take care of the driving some of the time gives you a break and lets you rest. It is also better for the environment.

3) Take care of your health. If you’re dragging yourself to your car every morning because you’re tired, you’re putting yourself (and everyone else sharing the road with you) at risk. Fatigued driving in Hollywood and other cities is a leading cause of trucking and car crashes. If you feel unwell or tired, don’t drive to work. Take public transport or choose another option, and visit a doctor to make sure there isn’t a health concern that needs treatment.

4) Take care of your time with proper time management. Being overwhelmed and exhausted makes you an ineffective worker and a dangerous driver. Cross off some things from your to-do list and delegate others so that you can get everything done in a reasonable time frame and not end up so distracted that you cause a collision.

5) Drive defensively and focus only on driving. Put away anything that may distract you. Your morning commute is not the time to go over the notes for the big meeting or the time to review your to-do list for the day. Focusing on the road and on your driving is especially important during the morning and evening rush hours, due to the traffic.

6) Vary your route. It may be harder for your mind to wander if your morning commute varies slightly. You don’t want to get so comfortable on your morning drive that you don’t notice what’s going on around you.

7) Exercise before you drive. A few stretches or some low-impact exercise can wake you up and can make it easier for you to focus on driving.

8 ) Do your homework. Your morning commute can be a lot less stressful if you prepare ahead of time. The night before, pack up anything you need for work as well as anything your children need for school. Consider making breakfast ahead so that you can grab a quick but healthy morning meal without needing a lot of time. In the morning, check the weather forecasts and traffic reports quickly to make sure that there are no surprises on the roads.

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