There was a horrific car accident on Interstate 90 near North Bend earlier this week in which the parents of a 4-year-old were killed instantly. The Washington State Patrol says they believe the driver of the vehicle, Sean Mitchell, fell asleep at the wheel as the family returned from a camping trip.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every year at least 100,000 car accidents are a result of driver fatigue, resulting in 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 injuries.
Drowsy diving is a dangerous problems and can cause fatal accidents just like driving under the influence of alcohol. Driving when you are sleepy lowers your reaction time, decreases your awareness, decreases your judgment and vision, decreases your performance and increases your risk of a car accident.
Some signs that you are drowsy and that you should stop driving are daydreaming, yawning, heavy eyelids, drifting from your lane, hitting a rumble strip, difficulty focusing and trouble keeping your head up.
Many people think that opening up the window or turning up the radio will help them stay awake but the Washington State Patrol these are not effective techniques to improve alertness.
- Get adequate sleep — between 7-9 hours at night
- Schedule breaks — every 100 miles or every 2 hours
- Travel with a companion – travel with someone who you can converse with and can share the driving load
- Avoid alcohol and medications
- Don’t drive between the hours of 1am and 6am
- If you’re sleepy, STOP DRIVING. REST. DRINK A CAFFEINATED BEVERAGE.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.