Tips from the AASM for avoiding drowsy driving

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is clear that drowsy driving is 100% preventable. Unfortunately, many in New Jersey and across the U.S. engage in it. The AASM conducted a Sleep Prioritization Survey involving 2,003 adults, and 45% admitted that they have struggled sometimes to keep their eyes open while behind the wheel.

Drowsiness causes drivers to make poor decisions and react slowly to dangers. Drivers can even fall asleep, in which case an accident is most surely to occur. Every year, an average of 6,400 fatal car crashes are due to drowsy driving, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Since drowsy driving is preventable, the AASM has provided some tips on how to go about with prevention.

Sufficient sleep is the only real solution. One should sleep at least seven hours every night. If drivers feel drowsy no matter how long they sleep, then they should see their doctor; they may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.

On long trips, drivers should consider several steps. First, they must not rely on rolling the windows down or playing loud music as ways to keep them alert. They can drink caffeinated beverages for a short boost in alertness. In extreme cases of sleepiness, drivers should pull over for a 15- or 20-minute nap.

If drivers do nothing about drowsiness, then they will be held liable for any car crashes that arise. In New Jersey, victims can recover damages in an accident claim as long as they were 50% or less at fault. However, this being a no-fault state, there are limitations as to who can file a third-party insurance claim. Victims may want a lawyer to assess the case beforehand. If retained, the lawyer might handle all negotiations for a settlement.

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