If you are planning on using Thanksgiving weekend to catch up with loved ones who do not live nearby, it is essential that you take certain steps to avoid causing a motor vehicle collision en route. For example, you should schedule a visit to your mechanic before making the trip to ensure all the fluid levels are topped off and the tire pressure is ideal.
You should also make it a point to get plenty of sleep the night before you hit the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving is responsible for up to 6,000 fatal collisions annually.
Because fatigue has similar effects on the body as alcohol, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Motorists who are not fully alert because of sleep deprivation have poor concentration and slowed reaction time.
Drowsy driving and holiday traffic are an especially dangerous combination because more congestion means more opportunities for collisions. If you were hurt in a car accident with a distracted or drowsy driver, contact the Robson Law Firm.
An Austin injury attorney will assess the details of your case to determine if you are eligible for compensation to pay for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. Call 512-345-8200 to schedule your free case evaluation and begin building your claim
Read on to learn how you can avoid driving while fatigued over Thanksgiving weekend
- Hit the Road in the Morning
Starting a road trip in the evening after spending the whole day at work is never a good idea. If your schedule allows it, take off the entire day so you can leave that morning instead.
- Share Driving Responsibilities
If you will be traveling with another licensed motorist, plan on splitting the driving, even if the trip is only a couple hours long. This will help prevent both of you from becoming drowsy purely out of boredom.
- Do Not Mix Anything with Your Medication
Combining substances is never a good idea, especially if one of those substances is alcohol. If you currently take any kind of medication, make sure you know all of its potential side effects, and do not drive while it is still in your system if drowsiness is one of them. Your doctor may also advise you to avoid alcohol entirely over the holiday weekend, depending on the medication in question.
- Take a Nap Before Your Trip
The National Sleep Foundation encourages motorists to take a short “pre-drive nap” before heading out, especially if you did not get sufficient sleep the night before you were planning on leaving. If you begin to feel groggy while driving, you can also pull over to a safe location and take a mid-drive nap.
Do not sleep for more than 20 minutes, and be sure to consume a caffeinated beverage before closing your eyes. The caffeine will start hitting your system as you wake up, preventing grogginess.
If you were in a collision with a motorist who fell asleep at the wheel, contact the Robson Law Firm to determine if you have grounds for a claim. Call 512-345-8200 to schedule a free consultation with an accident lawyer in Austin. You can learn more about car accident claims in Texas by visiting USAttorneys.com.