Living in Texas, you probably drive to get to work, to pick up your kids from school and to participate in other events with friends and family. You want to be safe on the roads, and you deserve to be. Unfortunately, did you know that Texas actually ranks number one for the drowsiest drivers in the United States?
That means that you’re more likely to be struck or in a near-miss with a drowsy driver in Texas than anywhere else in the country.
Drowsy driving fatalities in Texas
According to studies released in 2021 looking at data from between 2010 to 2018, there were 1,111 fatal drowsy driving collisions in Texas in that time frame. Nationally, there were only 5,133 in total.
That means that Texas’s fatal drowsy-driving crashes make up a shocking 22% of all drowsy-driving crashes. That’s ten times more than in any other state across the country. The only state that even came close to Texas in this study was California, which had a total of 6% of the country’s drowsy-driving collisions resulting in fatalities.
What can drivers do to avoid drowsy-driving collisions?
Drowsy driving happens when people are taking medications that make them sleepy, when drivers are driving for many hours without adequate breaks and when people drive when they haven’t gotten enough sleep. Driving while mildly intoxicated may make someone drowsy, and medical conditions could, too.
There are dozens of causes of these crashes, so what can drivers do to avoid them? A few ideas are to:
- Avoid driving when you’re taking a new medication that could make you drowsy
- Get at least seven hours of sleep, if not eight or nine, to be sure you’re well-rested before a drive
- Avoiding drinking and driving
- Take regular breaks on long road trips
- Focus on maintaining good health by exercising and eating well to avoid flares of medical conditions
These are just a few ideas to help you avoid driving while drowsy. Remember, if you are hit by someone who was drowsy behind the wheel, that party may be responsible for any bills you have as a result of personal injuries or damage to your vehicle.