What do thousands of potatoes and a horde of honey bees have to do with car accidents? Over the past couple months, drivers – specifically, truck drivers – who fell asleep at the wheel caused accidents that spilled both of these items onto the road, creating a serious hazard for other motorists.
These cases may seem humorous on the surface, but any St. Louis car accident lawyer can tell you just how catastrophic drowsy driving can be for the victims involved.
Drowsy Driving on the Rise
If you are like most Americans, you don’t get enough sleep at night. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 50 and 70 million adults in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep.
The CDC says adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night. The number is higher for teens, who should be getting somewhere between nine and 10 hours a night. Despite these guidelines, 30 percent of American adults say they get fewer than six hours of sleep.
When the body doesn’t get enough sleep, it can be a recipe for disaster – or a disastrous accident. Car crashes are already one of the leading causes of death in the country.
Chronic lack of sleep among the general population just exacerbates an existing problem. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there were more than 300,000 drowsy driving accidents in the U.S. in 2014 alone.
Experts say drowsy driving is also on the rise. A 2005 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that 60 percent of adults say they drive drowsy.
Shift workers and people who work irregular schedules, such as nurses and firefighters, reported more incidents of drowsy driving.
Ways to Prevent Drowsy Driving
Many factors can cause drowsy driving. Motorists have reported falling asleep behind the wheel due to:
- Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea
- Alcohol, even when a driver’s BAC is below the legal limit
- Irregular work schedules
Although there may not be much you can do about your work schedule or prescription medications you need to take to stay in good health, there are several things you can do to minimize your risk of falling asleep on the road.
Consider incorporating the following tips into your daily routine to reduce the likelihood of drowsy driving:
- Avoid caffeine, which can disrupt your sleep patterns
- Stop smoking
- As much as possible, try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each day
- Avoid consuming large meals before bed
Experts say even small changes can make a big difference in the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Car accident cases are complex. Car accident cases can also be difficult. There are many steps to take and a lot of things to remember. When you’re injured, you need to focus on getting better.
The prospect of filing a personal injury lawsuit can be overwhelming. This is why it’s important to contact a car accident attorney right away.
Injured in an Auto Accident? You Need a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident can leave you with a lot of questions. How will you pay your bills? Are you responsible for all the medical bills that keep piling up? What about your quality of life? Do you even have an injury case? These are all questions that demand answers.
Fortunately, help is available. Call a St. Louis car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. The help you need is just a phone call away. Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.