During the summer months many Northern Californians set out on road trips with their families in order to visit friends and family. Road trips are also a great way to visit unique sites on the way to your destination. There are dangers involved with long distance road trips. The experienced attorneys at Guenard and Bozarth want to remind you of the dangers of driving while drowsy.

            Drowsy, or sleepy, driving occurs when the driver’s ability to be alert is considerably lower than it would be if the driver were “fully awake” or “well rested.” Being drowsy can vary widely for each individual driver but sleepiness does seem to have a dramatic effect on a driver’s ability to drive safely on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) roughly estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes every year are due to drivers who are tired or fatigued. Drowsy driving is particularly bad because the driver is incapable of making an effort to avoid crashing; the driver is asleep and therefore not aware that danger is imminent.  Drowsy drivers run the risk of crashing head on into a wall, a tree, or another vehicle while still traveling at full speeds.

            There are many studies that have shown that drowsy driving is as bad or in many cases worse than driving while intoxicated.  Individuals who have been found to be the most likely offenders as drowsy drivers include adults between the ages of 18 to 29, individuals with long work hours/shift workers, parents, individuals who travel a lot for business, and individuals with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders.

            Each of these categories of potential drowsy drivers experiences different risk factors that contribute to their driving while being fatigued.  There are several warning signs that California drivers and their passengers can be mindful of, they include: yawning repeatedly, having difficulty keeping your eyes open or focusing, not being able to recall the last few miles that were driven, missing traffic signs, drifting out of your driving lane or repeatedly driving over the rumble strips that divide each lane, and accidentally tailgating other vehicles.

            Many studies have shown that the peak times of the day for car accidents to occur is 4:00-6:00 a.m. but the midnight to 2:00 a.m. and 2:00-4:00 p.m. times are also high volume crash times too.

            The lesson here is to avoid driving when you are tired and if you are driving with someone who is tired either get them to pull over and rest or do anything else necessary to get them off the road.  If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligent driving please call the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth at 888-809-1075 for a case evaluation.  You can also go to www.gblegal.com for more information that may help you protect your rights under the law!