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What are some causes of drowsy driving?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2021 | Car Accidents

You expect your fellow drivers to be alert as you navigate local neighborhood roads and highways. Unfortunately, some people get behind the wheel in a drowsy state. This can pose a significant danger to yourself and other motorists since drowsiness hampers one’s ability to be alert and react to emerging situations in time, which can increase the chances of an auto collision.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are different causes of drowsy driving.

An excess of activities

Many adults have busy lives which impair their ability to get enough sleep. Common examples include staying up late to study for a college exam, doing housework or tending to family matters. However, getting seven to eight hours of sleep is the primary way you may avoid drowsiness. If you know you will have a busy day, consider scheduling time to sleep before you know you have to drive.

Sleep-deprived teenagers

Teenagers have a specific stage in their lives when they have a biologically greater need for sleep. Unfortunately, some teenagers prefer to stay out at night and remain active. This can increase the likelihood of becoming drowsy while behind the wheel, particularly if a teen drives for a long period of time.

Medications

Sometimes taking medication can make you feel drowsy. Common examples include antihistamines, antidepressants, blood pressure medicine, anti-anxiety medication, muscle relaxants, and anticonvulsants. If you feel drowsy after ingesting medicine, assume that it can impair your ability to drive. You might instead ask someone to drive you around or opt to take public transportation.

Time of the day

You may feel drowsy simply because of what time you drive. The peak sleepiness periods of the day are from midnight to 6 a.m. and in the late afternoon. If you are not accustomed to driving late at night, you might start to feel drowsy after a while. Some people readjust their schedules to get sleep during the morning and early afternoon so they can better handle sleepiness periods.

Recognizing the causes of drowsiness may help you prepare so you do not have to drive during times when you feel too tired to remain alert. Unfortunately, another driver may not account for signs of drowsiness and collide with you on the road. If this happens, you might need to seek medical attention and gather evidence for a personal injury case.

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