As you sit at your computer, it's hard to imagine a situation in which you fall asleep while operating a motor vehicle. However, when you're behind the wheel, there's always the possibility that you could become tired.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of Americans have operated a vehicle while feeling sleepy.
Here are several signs that you shouldn't ignore. You should pull to safety and get some rest before continuing on your way:
- You are unable to focus on the road ahead, no matter how hard you try
- Frequent blinking, heavy eyelids and yawning
- Feelings of irritability and aggression
- Trouble keeping your head steady
- Drifting out of your lane
There are things you can do to temporarily wake yourself up. From opening a window to turning up the volume on your radio, these things can help you become more alert. Unfortunately, they're temporary solutions to your problem.
Understanding that drowsiness can set in at any time is also important. For example, you could become tired during broad daylight if you didn't get enough sleep the night before.
Even if you feel completely alert, don't assume that other drivers are as well. There may be people around you who are not feeling up to the task of driving.
If a drowsy driver strikes your vehicle, do the following:
- Move to safety
- Call 911
- Wait for police and an ambulance to arrive
- Collect information from the other driver (if possible)
- Receive medical attention
- Contact your insurance company
- Learn more about the cause of the accident
Doing all of these things will help you protect your legal rights after a motor vehicle accident.