Drowsy Driving Risks As More Commuters Return To In-Person Work
During the coronavirus pandemic, many people in the Atlanta area were able to work from home, and fewer people were commuting from Marietta, Tucker, and other areas. Yet as more people are vaccinated and workplaces look toward some sense of a return to pre-pandemic norms, more of us will begin commuting again by car. Although the trip from downtown Atlanta to Marietta is not a lengthy distance, heavy traffic and other factors can result in a tiring commute to or home from work. And as commutes return, it is critical to think about car accidents and the risks of drowsy driving.
According to a recent article in Bankrate, although drowsy driving crashes may have occurred less frequently during the pandemic, relatively recent statistics underscore that drowsy or fatigued driving is a serious problem that is likely to rebound as more Americans return to the road.
Drowsy Driving Accidents Can Happen When You Are Close to Home
There is a common misconception that drowsy driving crashes only occur when a motorist has been on the road for an extended period of time, such as a multi-day road trip covering hundreds of miles. Yet many fatigued driving collisions actually occur quite close to home, and often on workday commutes. A report from the National Sleep Foundation notes that about 20 percent of drivers admit that they fell asleep behind the wheel while driving at least once in the last year, and more than 40 percent of adult drivers say they have fallen asleep at least once over the course of their lifetimes. And about half of all drivers say that they regularly get behind the wheel when they are sleepy and have not gotten enough rest the night before.
All of this is to make clear that drowsy driving can happen at almost any time and during even a relatively short drive. Indeed, after a long day at work after waking up early and commuting, the evening commute home can be particularly hazardous.
How to Avoid a Fatigued Driving Collision on Your Commute
When in-person work returns fully and you go back to your daily commute, what can you do to avoid a drowsy driving wreck? The following are some tips from the National Sleep Foundation:
- Get enough sleep each night, which is usually seven or more hours of sleep for an adult;
- Avoid medications that can make you drowsy, including over-the-counter drugs;
- Be particularly aware of signs of fatigued driving if you work night shifts (e.g., doctors, nurses, truck drivers, law enforcement officials), which can include yawning, difficulty keeping your eyes open, drifting out of your lane, or difficulty remembering the last few miles of your drive; and
- See a healthcare provider to check for untreated sleep disorders like narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea.
Contact a Drowsy Driving Accident Attorney in Georgia
If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a drowsy driving collision, you should seek advice as soon as you can from one of our experienced Marietta car accident lawyers. Our firm can discuss your options for seeking financial compensation, from negotiating with the auto insurance company to filing a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Contact The Strickland Firm to learn more about filing a claim and seeking compensation.