A serious auto accident can happen within a split-second on a New Mexico road. While most people understand the dangers of speeding or being drunk behind the wheel, they often overlook the risks associated with fatigue. Many people do not even realize when they are too tired to drive.

Motorists can take a few steps to limit the risks of drowsy driving. To be fully rested, safety advocates say drivers should get at least seven hours of sleep. They must also understand when they have a sleep-related medical problem that requires treatment. Doctors should assess medications and how they could impact sleep. Finally, drivers should be prepared for an extended time behind the wheel as this can cause tiredness.

There are also strategies to remain alert behind the wheel. Driving with a passenger who can share the driving load and keep the driver awake with conversation can improve safety. Furthermore, it’s key to recognize the common red flags of drowsiness like yawning, blinking more than normal, feeling the eyelids drooping, drifting into different lanes and missing exits.

Drivers are advised to do the obvious and get some sleep if they are tired behind the wheel. If that is not feasible, caffeinated drinks are beneficial. Drivers should not think that driving with loud music, opening the windows or blasting the air conditioner will be effective.

Someone who has been in an auto accident caused by a drowsy driver may want to reach out to a lawyer. A personal injury attorney could assess the case, gather evidence and help file a claim for compensation. The claim could ultimately cover medical bills, missed wages and other damages related to the crash.