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November safety topic focuses on drowsy driving


Whether you plan to stay in town or drive out of state to visit relatives, the upcoming holiday season is always full of traffic. Residents of Texas and elsewhere who are juggling their work and vacation schedules with packing, cooking, cleaning and trying to get everywhere on time are bound to be tired. When you combine exhaustion with driving, the results can be disastrous.

The holiday season is the perfect time to remind everyone about the dangers of drowsy driving. Therefore, the National Safety Council and the National Sleep Foundation have announced that Nov. 4 through Nov. 11 is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

In 2015, 824 people across the United States died in accidents believed to have been caused by drowsy driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additionally, the agency attributed 72,000 accidents and 41,000 injuries to drowsy driving that year. Experts believe the numbers are much higher, since it can be difficult to determine if fatigue contributed to a crash.

As you may know, anyone can become too drowsy to safely drive. However, some people are more at risk of getting in a sleep-related car accident than others. These include the following:

  • Commercial drivers, especially those who drive at night
  • People who work late shifts and through the night
  • High school and college students
  • People with untreated sleep disorders or those who regularly don’t get enough sleep
  • Those who take medications that cause drowsiness

Before you go on a trip, you might want to address any potential drowsiness by going to bed early the night before and taking someone with you who can take turns driving. You may also want to discuss medications and sleeping problems with your doctor. If a negligent or fatigued driver harms you, you may be eligible for the compensation of your medical expenses.