A woman, who allegedly fell asleep while driving, crashed into a van, which resulted in a chain reaction crash in Anaheim. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the car accident occurred the night of Jan. 15 in the 200 block of East South Street. The crash damaged four parked vehicles, but didn’t cause any injuries. The driver was evaluated at the scene, but was not transported to a hospital. No arrests or citations were reported.
It is indeed fortunate that no one suffered major injuries in this crash. We’re relived to note that it wasn’t much worse and people weren’t hurt.
Dangers of Drowsy Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowsy driving is a major problem nationwide. Drowsy driving is essentially the dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue. This could happen when the driver hasn’t had enough sleep. But, it could also happen due to untreated sleep disorders, medications, alcohol or drug use or shift work.
Even if you’ve not completely fallen asleep, driving while drowsy can have an impact. Drowsiness makes drivers less able to pay attention to the road. It slows reaction time if you have to act quickly in a crisis situation. Drowsiness also affects the driver’s ability to make sound decisions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 1 in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days. The agency also estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 car accidents, 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2013. Federal officials say these numbers are underestimated and about 6,000 fatal crashes each year might be attributed to drowsy driving.
Staying Alert at the Wheel
There are several precautions drivers can take in order to prevent falling asleep at the wheel:
- Get enough rest before you hit the road. Don’t drive if your drowsy, even if it’s only a few blocks.
- Develop good sleeping habits such as sticking to a sleep schedule. Turn off screens at least an hour before you go to bed so you have a restful night’s sleep.
- Don’t take prescription or over-the-counter drugs that could make you drowsy before driving.
- If you have a sleep disorder of if you are displaying symptoms of a sleep disorder such as snoring or feeling sleepy during the day, discuss treatment options with your doctor.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drowsy driver, contact an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer to examine your legal rights and options.