Prevent Falling Asleep at the Wheel

One 2007 report from The Huffington Post showed that “drowsy drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers.”


NC Car Accidents

Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel are committing negligence and causing an easily preventable accident. Drivers who fall asleep can be held accountable to parties who are injured by such negligence.
Falling asleep while driving typically results in head-on collisions at high speeds since drivers cross over into oncoming traffic or hit telephone poles or obstructions on the side of the road.

A Durham resident, Glenn Watkins, recently fell asleep behind the wheel of his Geo Tracker while driving home from work on Highway 70. Watkins hit a Honda Acura driven by a Rougemont man, Mike Delionbach. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2011 that there are 56,000 sleep-related crashes every year in the US. The AAA Foundation released a report just over a decade ago that showed North Carolina sleep-related crashes were under-reported.

Stay Awake While Driving

How can you stop yourself from falling asleep while driving? Some tips include blasting music extremely loud, sipping energy drinks, drinking lots of coffee, talk to other passengers or on the phone to keep your mind engaged or listen to podcasts or books on CD. These tips for staying awake while driving are actually bad advice. Blasting music means you can’t hear noise from traffic around you. What if another driver is beeping their horn to alert you of something in the road or an ambulance is trying to pass you? Energy drinks and coffee give a false sense of alertness. Drowsy drivers will still have a shorter reaction time. Talking to other passengers means they’re not getting an opportunity to sleep so that you can swap driving duties. Talking on the phone is dangerous. Whether or not you are using a hands-free device or not, your mind is not fully focused on the road. If a tired mind is trying to drive and carry a conversation there is a higher risk for an accident.

Raleigh Car Accident Attorneys

Car accident attorneys at Brent Adams and Associates don’t recommend any of these methods to stay awake and drive. In Raleigh, Fayetteville and Dunn, our car accident attorneys help innocent North Carolina residents who were victims in car wrecks because of another driver’s negligence, like falling asleep at the wheel. The only safe way to prevent falling asleep at the wheel is to stop driving, find a safe place to rest and get enough sleep so that you are well rested. Sharing the driving responsibility with another driver who is not sleep-deprived is another way to prevent your vehicle from crashing because of a tired driver.

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