Are you too sleepy to be behind the wheel?
There is still plenty of summer left, and you may have activities planned for your family in these last weeks of warm weather. If those activities include a trip to the bay, camping in one of the many beautiful provincial parks or a reunion with family, you likely have a lot of planning to do. Between creating an itinerary, planning your route and gathering the things you need to pack, you may think you have everything covered.
One thing to keep in mind if you plan to be driving long distances is the added dangers you may encounter as you travel. Whether you are taking highways or mountainous passages, you know the importance of remaining alert for wildlife, hazards in the roadway and drunk drivers. However, do you know how to recognize when you are the danger?
Signs you may need to pull over
You probably know the signs when you really need to take a nap or turn in for the night. Sitting on the couch after a long day or even in an interminable afternoon meeting, your head may start to feel fuzzy, your eyes heavy and your words slurry as your body slows down and tries to find rest. If you are home, there is usually no problem with closing your eyes and drifting off for a while. Behind the wheel, it is another story.
Driving long distances, especially after hours or days of relaxing and fun, can leave you bleary-eyed and drowsy. Sleep is an irresistible instinct, and while you may try to power through to your destination, you may be placing yourself and others in mortal danger. Some signs that you need to pull over and take a break include the following:
- Time and objects pass without your knowing.
- You can’t maintain your speed.
- You can’t keep your vehicle in the proper lane.
- You repeatedly lose focus on the fact that you are driving.
You may actually nod off, and this can be a terrifying thing, especially if your family is in the vehicle with you. Various agencies in British Columbia have taken measures to keep drivers from falling asleep, such as adding rumble strips and barriers to the highways. However, the best way to avoid drowsy driving is to plan ahead so that you have time to stop frequently, avoid driving when you would normally be sleeping and sleep well before hitting the road.
Of course, you may take all these precautions and still encounter a drowsy driver who causes an accident. If this happens, you have every right to seek legal advice about the best options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and suffering.