Drowsy driving a risk for holiday car accidents in North Carolina

Drowsy driving is one cause of North Carolina car accidents that could easily be eliminated this holiday season.

Why is drowsy driving dangerous? Think about the last time you had to do a task when you were really tired and you really didn’t feel like doing it. As a result, you may have finished the task just to get it over with; not really caring how well it was done. It’s possible you may have even forgotten how to do it or were annoyed at the task because of feeling fatigued. It would certainly complicate things if driving was the task at hand under these circumstances.
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But the most critical factor is that a drowsy driver may fall asleep behind the wheel, without warning and at any time. Safety advocates estimate more than 5,000 motorists a year are killed as a result. Our Charlotte injury lawyers urge you to get plenty of rest and to stop driving as soon as your feel yourself getting sleepy.

Now an advocate for not driving drowsy, Nate Irving knows first-hand the dangers involved when you get in a vehicle and are too tired to drive. Nate is an N.C. State football linebacker who over the summer decided to take a 90 mile trip when he was tired. That decision almost cost him his life. He was 2/3 the way home when he fell asleep at the wheel. He was knocked unconscious and suffered shoulder, rib, leg and lung injuries. He later learned his SUV hit two trees.

If you are planning a long driving trip AAA recommends getting a good night’s sleep. Don’t drive overnight if you aren’t use to driving at night. You should always have an awakened companion. Lastly, you should stop every few hours and stop if you get tired.

In 2009, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 730 crashes nationwide and 1875 fatalities caused by drowsy driving. However, authorities acknowledge that the issue is drastically under-reported.

If you feel, or you observe another driver exhibiting any of the following drowsy driver warning signs it is time to stop the vehicle and take a break:

-Yawning, eye rubbing, constant blinking.

-Bobbing your head, being restless, eyelids feel heavy.

-Lack of focus, passing your exit, running through traffic signals.

-Poor driving habits, leaving your lane, running over rumble strips, tailgating.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car crash, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment. Call 800-887-1965.

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