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What are the warning signs of drowsy driving?

Last week we discussed the dangers of drowsy driving and that teenagers are more likely to be involved in a drowsy driving accident. It is clear that drowsy driving has become a significant safety issue throughout the country but how many people can actually spot the signs of drowsy driving?

Drowsy driving can be caused by several factors and affect all different types of drivers. Roughly 60 percent of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy, according to the National Sleep Foundation. What's worse is that 37 percent of drivers have admitted to actually falling asleep behind the wheel during the last year.

Many people don't know the warning signs of drowsy driving. Drivers involved in drowsy driving accidents often were not aware that they were that tired or that they were falling asleep behind the wheel.

To fully understand the danger of drowsy driving, it is vital to know the warning signs. Here are several signs of drowsy driving that all drivers should be aware of:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking or heavy eyelids
  • Daydreaming or wandering thoughts
  • Trouble remembering that last few minutes driven
  • Missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing eyes
  • Trouble keeping their head up
  • Drifting from the lane, tailgating or hitting a rumble strip
  • Feeling restless or irritable

Being aware of the warning signs of drowsy driving can help reduce car accidents caused by this risky behavior. Drivers who notice other vehicles with any of the warning signs of drowsy driving should keep their distance to avoid a collision.

Drivers or passengers in a vehicle where the driver has become drowsy should pull over as safe as possible and not drive until they have rested a while. Drivers should not start driving again until they feel comfortable that they can stay alert on the road.

Source: National Sleep Foundation, "Warning Signs," Nov. 19, 2012

Our law firm represents individuals hurt in car accidents. To learn more about our law firm, please visit our Illinois car accident page.

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