The Dangers of Drowsy Driving (and What It’s Costing the Country)

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Do you know that every year in the United States drowsy driving is responsible for thousands of deaths and tens-of thousands of injuries? In fact, in 2013 alone, it is reported that there were about 72,000 crashes resulting in 44,000 injuries due to drowsy driving. Similarly, a re-evaluated count raised the total fatal crashes from about 1,000 to 6,000. The numbers in subsequent years have been astonishingly similar with an economic impact in a 2016 study that reached as high as $109-billion not including property damage.

How common is driving drowsy? One study shows that more than 40% of drivers taking the study admitted to falling asleep at the wheel while a higher amount reported being tired while driving within the past year.

Sleep deprivation results in daytime risks such as lack of focus, poor decision-making skills, fatigue, and a slower reaction time. While most people think sleep deprivation has everything to do with just sleeping, the fact is that it is what you do during the day that affects how you sleep at night.

Here are four things to do during the day to help you sleep better at night… and avoid drowsy driving.

Eat progressively lighter meals during the day

Not only will this help with weight-loss, but eating progressively smaller meals from breakfast to dinner allows your body to comfortably digest food at night. This also helps your metabolism start with a burst of energy then balance your energy through the rest of the day.

Save your caffeine for lunch

Caffeine is a great pick-me-up, but it affects everyone differently, such as the intake amount and how long the chemical remains in your body. Though, a rule of thumb so that caffeine does not affect your sleep is to have your last cup of coffee with lunch.

Create a pre-sleep routine

A sleep routine will help you wind down from a busy day and create an environment that tells your body it is time to fall asleep. Your routine might consist of a warm bath or shower, prepping your clothes for the next day, essential oils and a quick mindfulness meditation or reading after you lay down.

Stretch in the morning and at night

A short five-minute stretching routine before bed will help to relieve muscle tension, relax your body and combined with breathing exercises can aid in stress relief and anxiety. Those same benefits exist in the morning, with the benefit of getting your blood moving and providing a little energy burst.

Driving drowsy can have serious consequences. If you’ve ever been injured from a driving accident caused by drowsy-driving contact Hickman Law Office today.
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