Are you planning to travel this Thanksgiving weekend? You’re definitely not alone. Experts predict that more than 50 million people will be headed to someone else’s home for the annual feast.
That means that there are going to be a lot of cars out there on the roads, and drowsy driving — which is already a problem in a sleep-deprived nation — could be more prevalent than normal.
Why are the holidays particularly dangerous for drowsy driving?
Forget about blaming the tryptophan in the holiday turkey for your holiday fatigue. That’s a myth. However, there are some very real reasons that people often feel a bit wiped out after the family dinner, including:
- Interrupted sleep: A lot of travelers have to get up early to get where they intend to be by dinner. This means that they may be less rested than usual.
- Disrupted routines: It’s not uncommon for people to experience a last-minute rush of activity at work or home when they are prepping for a holiday weekend, and that can leave them feeling worn out when things finally stop.
- Family stress: Family gatherings can bring out the best and the worst in people, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Stressful encounters with family members (or the tension from holding their tongue) can leave someone wiped out later.
For your part, if you’re feeling sleepy, yawning, rubbing your eyes or have trouble concentrating behind the wheel, be smart. Grab a cup of coffee or a nap before you go any further. You can’t do anything about all those drowsy drivers out there, but you can make sure that you’re alert enough to keep your reaction times quick.
If you are involved in a crash with a drowsy driver, don’t speak to their insurance company until you fully understand your right to compensation for your injuries and losses.