Millions of Americans are guilty of drowsy driving

Drowsy driving is a major problem in Ohio and across the U.S. According to experts, this is unlikely to change. Because many areas of the country lack public transportation, millions of people are forced to engage in drowsy driving from time to time.

In a recent AAA survey, nearly one-third of drivers admitted to getting behind the wheel while sleepy within the past 30 days. Meanwhile, sleeping pills present another danger. A 2018 Consumer Reports survey found that around 20 percent of Americans who take prescription sleep aids drive less than seven hours after taking their medication. They do this despite the fact that most sleep aids recommend getting a minimum of seven or eight hours of sleep after taking them. Studies have found that sleepiness can impair someone's driving abilities as much as alcohol. For example, a National Sleep Foundation study found that staying awake for 24 straight hours is comparable to having a blood alcohol content of .10 (the legal limit for drivers is .08).

Luckily, there are several things drivers can do to reduce the risks of drowsy driving. First of all, drivers should get as much sleep as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least seven hours of rest each night. Second, drivers who continue to feel drowsy after getting adequate sleep should get checked out by their doctors. Third, drivers should be on the lookout for signs of drowsiness and pull over if they feel sleepy. Drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages may also help.

The victim of a motor vehicle crash caused by a drowsy driver may have grounds to file a lawsuit in civil court. An attorney could evaluate a victim's case and help prepare a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and the driver's auto insurance company. This could result in a settlement that covers various damages, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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