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California Office of Traffic Safety Offers Tips to Prevent Drowsy Driving

Tired man yawning in the front seat of the car holding coffee to go.

Tired drivers cause far too many serious crashes in California

Tired drivers often cause serious car accidents that result in injuries or fatalities. That’s why the California Office of Traffic Safety recently put together a series of safety tips designed to prevent collisions caused by drowsy drivers.

“Drowsy driving is a serious traffic safety concern that puts all roadway users at risk and can lead to tragic consequences,” the California Office of Traffic Safety posted recently on its drowsy driving information page.

How common is drowsy driving?

The numbers say it all. Drowsy driving is a serious problem in California and nationwide. Each year, nearly 800 people are killed in collisions caused by tired drivers on U.S. roads, according to accident data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Percentage-wise, such fatalities add up to nearly 2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic deaths.

Here’s another startling statistic, courtesy of the California Office of Traffic Safety’s drowsy driving page. In the past 30 days, 1 out of 25 drivers admitted they fell asleep at the wheel, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Warning signs of tired driving

Warning signs of drowsy driving include:

  • Failure to stay in one lane.
  • Drifting into other lanes or oncoming traffic.
  • Traveling extremely slow or fast and driving erratically on the road.
  • Yawning or frequent blinking.
  • Difficulty remembering the past few miles of driving.

Older driver rubs eyes and almost falls asleep while driving.

Safety tips to avoid a drowsy driving accident

Here are a few safety tips from the California Office of Traffic Safety to avoid driving while fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel:

  • Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep before driving, especially on long road trips.
  • Stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Don’t drive alone, especially late at night.
  • Take a break every 100 miles or 2 hours.
  • Carefully read medication warnings before taking them and driving. Many medications can make people tired and unable to drive safely.
  • Don’t mix alcohol with medications that cause drowsiness before driving.
  • If you’re on the road and feel tired, pull over to a safe place and take a nap for 15-20 minutes.
  • If you see someone driving erratically who might be asleep or fading in and out, slow down and stay as far away as possible from the other car. Drowsy drivers are unpredictable and can be dangerous.

Drowsy driving accident lawyers serving the East Bay

Claims involving car accidents caused by tired drivers might seem straightforward, but don’t be surprised if your injury claim turns out to be a complicated legal case. Sometimes, it’s because the at-fault driver doesn’t admit to doing anything wrong.

Other times, it’s because the at-fault driver’s insurance company does everything possible to reduce or deny your claim. That's when having experienced legal representation on your side can make a meaningful difference in the outcome of your case.

You should be fairly compensated for all your injury-related expenses if you were hit by a drowsy driver, and the car accident lawyers at Clancy & Diaz, LLP can help.

Discover what we can do for you. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation to learn more about your potential legal options. We have two offices conveniently located in Walnut Creek and Antioch. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we obtain a financial settlement or verdict for you.

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