CHP’s Drowsy Driving Prevention

Officials with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) recently issued a press release about the dangers of drowsy driving. The CHP joined up with the National Sleep Foundation to participate in “Drowsy Driving Prevention Week,” which ran from November 2-9, 2014. This annual campaign is aimed at raising awareness about just how dangerous it is to drive while you’re sleepy or drowsy.

In 2012, there were over 3,900 crashes in California involving drowsy drivers. At least 36 people died in those preventable crashes, and another 2,100 people were injured. CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow was quick to point out that while most Californians know that driving under the influence is dangerous, few people understand the implications of drowsy driving. Driving while sleepy is actually a pretty dangerous combination that can lead to fatal consequences.

Drowsy Driving as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that cognitive impairment after roughly 18 hours of wakefulness is similar to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 percent. A period of wakefulness lasting about 24 hours is like the equivalent of having a BAC of 0.10 percent, which is over the legal limit in California and across the U.S. This information is especially important for shift workers and those that work long hours or double and triple shifts. Drivers certainly shouldn’t mix alcohol and drowsiness either. Even a small amount of alcohol can greatly amplify the dangers of drowsy driving. Listed below are a few signs you are too drowsy to drive safely.

Warning Signs You Need to Pull Over

• Frequent blinking
• Difficulty focusing
• Heavy eyelids
• Trouble remembering last few miles driven
• Missing exits or signs
• Yawning and rubbing your eyes repeatedly
• Trouble keeping head up
• Feeling restless and irritable
• Drifting from your lane, tailgating or hitting rumble strips

What to do After an Accident

After any kind of car accident, your first priority needs to be your health. Get your immediate medical needs addressed before dealing with anything else. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney is a great way to make sure your interests are being looked after. A lawyer can be your advocate and stay on top of investigative developments. If you have been injured in a crash involving a sleepy or drowsy driver or a driver who has fallen asleep at the wheel, contact the skilled team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. for a free case consultation today.

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