According to AAA, drowsy drivers cause some 328,000 car crashes every year in New Jersey and across the U.S. with 6,400 of them ending in death. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has shown how prominent drowsy driving is in its recent Sleep Prioritization Survey of 2,003 U.S. adults. It turned out that 45% of the respondents have driven in such a drowsy condition that they struggled to keep their eyes open.
Drowsy driving is 100% preventable, so the AASM has provided some tips to help drivers avoid drowsiness. First, drivers must have adequate sleep every night. If they are continually and excessively sleepy despite a regular, healthy sleep schedule, then they could have obstructive sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.
Drivers should avoid driving alone or at night. They should be able to recognize the symptoms of drowsiness: yawning, trouble keeping the eyes open, tailgating, missing turns and exits, drifting onto the rumble strip, etc. If they still have a while before their destination, sleepy drivers should take a short nap of 15 or 20 minutes on the side of the road.
Some methods for staying awake only work for a short time, such as drinking caffeinated beverages. Others, such as rolling down the window and playing loud music, have no effect at all.
Those who intend to pursue a personal injury case after being injured at the hands of a drowsy driver may want to see a lawyer for advice and guidance. The lawyer may need to find out first if victims can even file a claim. With New Jersey being a no-fault state, victims must file with their own insurance company and cannot file a third-party claim unless the crash ended in serious injuries or disabilities. For valid claims, the lawyer may handle all negotiations.