In Wisconsin and across the United States, drowsy and distracted drivers cause thousands of fatal car accidents each year. Many Americans do not realize that they should not drive when they feel sleepy, and many drivers do not get enough sleep because they work two or three jobs. Some people suffer from diagnosed sleep disorders or drive while inebriated. Other distracted drivers take medications known to cause sleepiness. In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report showing that drowsy drivers caused 72,000 car accidents, 44,000 serious injuries and 800 deaths.

Furthermore, studies indicate that approximately 6,000 car crashes may link to distracted drivers. Common warning signs may help drivers know when to stop driving. Some of these signs include frequently missing freeway exits and drifting into other lanes. Other warning signs to watch for include frequent yawning and blinking of the eyes. Some distracted drivers find it difficult to remember the past few completed miles. Others may hit rumble strips on the sides of roads.

Many drivers simply do not get enough sleep before they begin to operate their car, van, truck or motorcycle. Commercial drivers operating large vehicles need to pay special attention to symptoms of drowsiness. Those working two or more jobs should make themselves aware of their drowsiness and pull off the road to take short naps. Drivers should follow the directions of their medicine labels involving whether the pills cause sleepiness.

People may not understand the warning that they need to get enough sleep before driving their vehicles. An adult requires at least seven hours of sleep, and a teenage driver requires at least eight hours of sleep. These guidelines are minimums. Some drivers may need more sleep before driving.

Victims of motor vehicle accidents may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney about filing legal claims. A successful claim may be able to reimburse victims for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.