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Drowsy Drivers

By Laura Kelly

Georgia's highways are most dangerous around the holiday season. Trips are longer and traffic jams are more frequent. Travelers are more anxious to get to their destination, speeds increase and so does fatigue. Late night holiday celebrations leave some drivers intoxicated, putting you at the mercy of their impaired state. Add in a mix of icy weather conditions and you have a very dangerous commute ahead.

A report conducted by the Crash Reporting Unit at the Georgia Department of Transportation revealed that during the 2010 Thanksgiving weekend there were a total of 2,571 crashes, 1,099 injuries and 13 traffic deaths.

A major cause of accidents in the US is driver fatigue. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there are estimated to be 56,000 sleep related road crashes annually, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities. Fatigue can cause drivers to become delusional, careless and even fall asleep at the wheel. Often they fail to maintain lane and overcorrect, resulting in a car accident.  Here are a few tips we would like to share with you to avoid driver fatigue:

  • Be sure to get plenty of rest before you get behind the wheel, especially if it is a long trip.
  • Take breaks every two hours to maximize alertness.
  • Eat healthy snacks and avoid high sugar, high fat foods.
  • If someone is traveling with you, split up the drive and take turns behind the wheel.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages- not even a little. Stick with caffeine or water.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced the week of November 6-12 to be "Drowsy Driving Prevention Week."  NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman said, "Drowsy Driving Prevention Week is an ideal time to remind drivers that being well rested is a safety measure that can save lives 52 weeks a year," Hersman said. "If you can't stay alert, then stay off the road."

Every year, we handle thousands of claims on behalf of people injured in car wrecks, tractor trailer wrecks, and motorcycle collisions.  Sadly, some of our clients have lost a loved one because of someone else's negligence in a wreck.  Often times, we represent people who have never been through this legal process.

"This holiday season stay alert and be aware of dangerous drivers. You may not be sleepy, and you may not be drunk, but the driver in the car or truck next to you could be," said Gary Martin Hays.

Don't become a statistic. If you have been injured in a car accident, call The Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates at 770-934-8000. Our expertly trained staff of attorneys and paralegals is ready to assist you in your personal injury case.