Drowsy & Fatigued driving is a bigger hazard than many motorists think. According to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving was responsible for over 72,000 motor vehicle accidents in 2013.
Studies show that moderate sleep deprivation produces the same types of impairments as alcohol intoxication. Operating a vehicle after being awake for 17 to 19 hours would be the same as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%.
How many sleep-related accidents occur every year?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, up to 100,000 police-reported car accidents are the direct result of drowsy driving every year. These accidents result in an estimated 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries. They also result in approximately $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
However, the exact number of drowsy driving accidents, deaths, and injuries per year has yet to be determined. This is because it’s difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness.
Who is at risk for drowsy driving?
While anyone can fall asleep at the wheel, sleep-related car accidents are most common in young people. This is especially true for adults with children and shift workers.
The Zebra reports nearly 7 out of 10 adult drivers report driving while drowsy at least once a month in the previous year. In addition, more than 1 in 5 drivers who reported having fallen asleep while driving in the past year reported that it had occurred between noon and 5 p.m.
How can you prevent drowsy driving?
It’s important to get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night for your body to function properly. If you’re suffering from insomnia, anxiety, or another sleep disorder, it’s important to talk to a medical professional.
If you’re sleep-deprived and need to travel, it’s recommended to take public transportation or a ride-sharing service to avoid putting yourself and others at risk on the road. Pullover to the side of the road if you’re driving and feel yourself begin to close your eyes or you feel too fatigued to drive.
Drowsy driving car accidents are especially dangerous
A drowsy driver lacks the ability to react in time to avoid an accident, a driver who has fallen asleep, even for only a few seconds may completely fail to apply the brakes, swerve or otherwise attempt to avoid a crash. This makes drowsy driving crashes much more likely to cause serious or catastrophic injuries like head-on collisions.
Drowsy drivers can be held liable for the damages they cause in a car accident. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to investigate the cause of an accident and determine its at-fault parties.
Do you need a dedicated and experienced accident attorney in Redding California?
Approximately 3 million people are injured every year in car accidents on U.S. roads. If you were the victim of a car accident caused by a drowsy or fatigued driver, contact the law offices of Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel, LLP in Redding Ca. for a free consultation today.