Many people don’t realize that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Unfortunately, this situation occurs much more often than it should, and it is much more likely to be under-reported than drunk driving. After all, motorists don’t have to admit if they fall asleep while at the wheel – intoxication is something that is much more blatantly obvious. ‘
Even though that is the case, drowsy driving is becoming a more prevalent threat to the safety and health of other people on the road. This means drivers must be more aware and diligent to ensure they don’t drive while fatigued.
Shocking Drowsy Driving Car Accident Statistics
According to a poll from the National Sleep Foundation, only 41 percent of respondents stated they slept between six and seven hours, while only 8.21 percent got the eight hours or more that is recommended.
Additionally, a study from 2005 estimated that over 168 million drivers stated they felt drowsy while behind the wheel in the past 12 months and a third of those surveyed actually admitted to falling asleep while driving.
The NHTSA estimated that more than 100,000 car accidents resulted from drowsy drivers, and these resulted in $1.25 billion in losses, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths.
How Drowsy Driving Increases the Potential of Car Accidents
While you may feel a bit tired, or yawn, when you get up in the morning, if you are fatigued it can be extremely dangerous while you are behind the wheel. In fact, if you feel fatigued the following issues may occur:
- Speeding: If you are tired, you may try to drive faster to arrive at your destination sooner.
- Increased stress: If you don’t get enough sleep, it can cause stress. If you are tired, your body won’t be able to handle stress as well as it would if you were fully rested. This can increase the potential of car accidents.
- Lapses in attention: If you are tired, you may suffer from a lapse in attention. While it may only seem like a few seconds, it only takes a few seconds for car accidents to occur.
Prevent Fatigued Driving to Reduce the Risk of Car Accidents
While anyone can be tired and drive while drowsy, those who work third shift or overnight may be more fatigued while on the road. If you feel tired, or notice that you are swerving or moving out of your lane, then you should pull over until you have rested.
It is also important to try and get plenty of sleep every night. This will help prevent fatigued and drowsy driving.
If you are injured because of someone who drove while drowsy, you may have the right to recover compensation. More information about car accidents caused by a drowsy driver can be found by contacting the attorneys at Hilton & Somer at 703-782-8349.