Home » Articles » Turning on the AC in Tennessee cannot prevent drowsy driving

Turning on the AC in Tennessee cannot prevent drowsy driving

Drivers with untreated sleep apnea, drivers who rely on sedating medications to sleep and drivers who maintain a schedule that does not allow them to get enough sleep all put other drivers on the roads in Tennessee at risk. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is estimated that two percent of injury crashes and 2.5 percent of fatal 
car accidents can be traced back to drowsy driving. However, the NHTSA suspects that these estimates figures may be conservative and that many more accidents are caused by drowsy driving each year.

The problem with drowsiness

Most drivers realize that falling asleep behind the wheel is dangerous. However, many underestimate the danger of drowsy driving. Drowsiness affects drivers in the following ways:

  • Negatively impacts decision-making abilities.
  • Causes inattentiveness.
  • Slows reaction times during dangerous driving situations.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that drivers who snore or get less than six hours of sleep on a nightly basis are more likely to feel drowsy as they operate a vehicle.

    Ineffective tactics

    To combat the effects of
    drowsy driving, many drivers engage in ineffective tactics to help them feel more awake. For example, drivers may turn up the radio, open their windows, use their car’s air conditioner or pull over to stretch and walk around for a brief moment.

    According to a recent survey conducted by DME Automotive, approximately 42 percent of the 2,000 participants stated that they opened up a window to stay awake, 35 percent listened to music, 25 percent blasted their air conditioning and 35 percent reported that they pulled over to stretch. Although all of these methods may provide temporary bursts of energy, experts state that the only real way to overcome drowsy driving is to pull over and take a nap.

    Researchers also discovered that 53 percent of participants try to make themselves feel more awake while they are driving by drinking a caffeinated beverage. Just like turning up the music or opening up a window, this may provide drivers with a temporary source of energy. However, since it can take caffeine a half an hour to enter the bloodstream, says USA Today, this may not provide relief quick enough to prevent a fatal or injurious accident from occurring.

    By engaging in temporary relief methods, like stretching, instead of pulling over to take a nap, drowsy drivers endanger the lives of those travelling on the roads with them. If you were recently injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, consult with an attorney in your area who can provide you with legal guidance at this time.