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What drivers can do about drowsiness on the road

Most drivers in Tennessee recognize the danger of drowsy driving. If they do not get adequate sleep (the CDC recommends at least seven hours), they will only raise the risk for a car crash. The National Sleep Foundation reports that going without sleep for 24 hours will create the same level of impairment as that experienced by a drunk driver with a .10 BAC.

According to a 2018 AAA study, 9.5% of auto accidents are caused by sleepy drivers. In a AAA survey, nearly a third of the respondents admitted to driving while drowsy once during the previous month. They said they were so drowsy that they could hardly keep their eyes open.

Other factors besides inadequate sleep can make drivers drowsy. These include sleep disorders and the use of certain prescription and over-the-counter medications. Some people take prescription sleep aids and negligently drive before sleeping for the recommended seven to eight hours.

Whatever the causes, there are times when drivers must continue on even when drowsy. In such cases, drivers may want to take a brief (15 to 20 minutes) nap and have a companion take over when necessary. Drinking a 12-ounce coffee can make one alert for several hours. However, playing the radio loud and rolling down the windows will not help.

Even if they take precautions, though, individuals will be to blame for any accidents they cause because it will be considered irresponsible to drive drowsy in the first place. Those who are injured in car accidents may want to see a lawyer about recovering damages. A successful claim against the negligent party's insurance company could cover things like medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, pain and suffering and even emotional trauma. Victims may leave all negotiations to their attorney. As a last resort, they may litigate.

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