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Drowsy driving remains a serious problem on the road

Many Connecticut drivers have experienced that unpleasant feeling of nodding off for a moment only to jolt quickly awake and realize that they were about to go off the road. The brief shock scares them and they are usually able to drive safely away while realizing that they came perilously close to causing an accident. This type of behavior is called drowsy driving and, despite federal and state awareness campaigns, it remains a problem throughout the nation.

The condition of drowsy driving has been responsible for many fatal accidents and it is caused by combining the act of driving with the fatigued condition of the driver. It usually develops because the driver has not slept enough before starting their trip but it can also develop as a result of taking specific medications that cause drowsiness, alcohol consumption and sleep disorders. Drowsiness causes the driver to lose concentration, slow their reaction time and causes poor decision making.

Government statistics have shown that there are several types of drivers who are more prone to driving while drowsy. These include drivers who do not get enough sleep and commercial drivers such as tractor trailer drivers. Other drivers who are vulnerable to this condition are shift workers who work the night shift or extra long hours and drivers who have untreated sleep disorders.

One way to combat drowsy driving is to recognize the signs of the condition. These include yawning or blinking rapidly while driving, drifting from your driving lane and missing your exit. Other signs are having difficulty remembering driving the last few miles and making contact with rumble strips that are located on the shoulders of the road.

It's important to remember that drowsy driving is a form of distracted driving. However, any Connecticut resident who has been injured by a drowsy driver may want to speak with a personal injury attorney in order to find out if negligence also played a part in their accident.

Source: cdc.gov, "Drowsy driving: asleep at the wheel", Accessed April 12, 2016

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