Safe Driving: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

If you’re an American, you’re part of a very stressful culture. In general, Americans work hard, then they work harder, and if there’s any time left at the end of the day, they are usually stressing about the next day of hard work that is to come. This income-centric society is great for producing thriving businesses, but when it comes to health, many people are finding that burning the candle at both ends is coming back to bite them.

Driving while drowsy causes many accidents each year. In fact, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study in and around the Raleigh,NC area studying the reasons people have drowsy driving crashes. They found that our internal clocks prompt us to get drowsy during the mid day, even when we have slept well the night before. People who do not think they are tired may fall victim to this natural rhythm of sleep that hits between 2 and 4 pm each day. Up to 55% of drivers admitted that they had driven drowsy at some point. Sleeping, and knowing when you need to sleep, are vital to staying safe on the road. According to one Raleigh NC car accident lawyer, ”early morning hours are also dangerous as people are driving impaired and/or sleepy from a long day.
Tired Eyes are a Danger on Long Commutes
If you have a long commute to and from work, it’s very important that you get adequate sleep each night. For most adults, this means at least eight hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep. This is not always possible, but the closer you can come to it, the better. You may feel awake while driving, but your lack of proper sleep is affecting you whether you realize it or not. Being tired dramatically slows down your reaction time, and while this may not matter on a lucky day, on the day a car pulls out in front of you without checking, it could mean the difference between life and death. 

Tips to Get Better Sleep

If you’re stressed about work or some other aspect of your life, you have to try and put it out of your head before laying down for bed. You can help do this by taking a hot bath in the evening hours, watching a funny movie or getting lost in a book. Try to avoid spending time on the Internet right before you go to sleep, because this can remind you of deadlines, meetings and other issues that may weigh on your mind and get in the way of relaxation. If nothing else, remember that you can always worry about your problems tomorrow. Give yourself permission to take a break from what’s stressing you in favor of some much-needed rest.

Know When to Take a Break

Everyone has to work, but that doesn’t mean you should push yourself to get to work during a time you are truly exhausted. If you’ve been suffering from insomnia, dealing with an illness or have recently experienced a major loss, such as the death of a loved one, you should consider taking a few days off work to sleep and recuperate. Missing work can really set you back, but imagine what might happen if you push yourself too hard and end up wrecking your car. Not only could you set yourself back financially, but you could experience a life-altering injury or even death. Nothing is worth that.

Knowing when not to drive is a very important responsibility of any licensed driver. If someone has caused you personal injury while driving drowsy, you may have a case for compensation.

Writer Melanie Fleury has a sister who works grave shifts and often drives home exhausted. She hopes to provide readers, as well as her sister, with this information so that they can make better choices and not take unnecessary risks. The website of Auger & Auger attorneys at law, a Raleigh NC car accident lawyer , has many examples of car accidents that involve sleepy or otherwise impaired drivers.



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