Although you can get behind the wheel drowsy at any point, many drivers in West Virginia and elsewhere are facing additional risks as they prepare to travel for the holidays. If you are planning to take a road trip out of town for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you may want to learn about the dangers of drowsy driving. 

Sleep-related car accidents may take a back seat in public consciousness, compared to the more widely publicized issues of drunk drivers and texting while driving. However, drowsy driving is more prevalent – and more deadly – than you may think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 72,000 collisions attributed to drowsy driving resulted in 800 deaths and 44,000 injuries in 2013. However, safety officials believe these numbers are significantly underreported, since it can be difficult to determine if a driver was sleep-deprived at the time of a crash. 

People may be more likely to be involved in a drowsy driving accident if they routinely do not get enough sleep, work night shifts, work in commercial transport, take medication that causes sleepiness or have an untreated sleep disorder. If you are preparing for a road trip, it is important to get a full night’s rest the night before the trip and to address any sleep disorders or sedating medication with your doctor. It is also vital to note that while you may take the necessary precautions, other drivers sharing the road with you can be dangerously sleepy behind the wheel. The information presented in this post is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.