The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just come out with a new report warning against drowsy driving. The report states that 2.5% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes and 2% of all nonfatal motor vehicle injuries are a result of drowsy driving.
While those numbers don't seem extremely large, some of the models run estimated that the actual number may be 15% to 33% for fatal motor vehicle accidents. Drowsy driving was also linked to a daily sleep duration of less than six hours resulting in frequent insufficient sleep, snoring, and those who report unintentionally falling asleep during the day.
The results indicate that men are more likely to drive while drowsy than women and that the likelihood of drowsy driving occurring decreases with age. While most of today's statistics speak of the dangers of texting while driving, it appears that another driving hazard is lurking in the shadows. Perhaps a greater emphasis should be placed on sleep among our young adults and its positive effects when one gets a sufficient amount of it.
Drowsy driving means lousy driving, but it is easy to prevent if you can catch the symptoms and recognize the need to pull over when they occur. Those most at risk may be night shift workers, those with sleep disorders, commercial drivers, and those taking certain medications that can cause drowsiness. It is important to know what effect a medication will have on your alertness prior to getting behind the wheel. Only you can prevent drowsy driving!
If you should find yourself involved in an accident due to drowsy driving, please contact a personal injury attorney. They will be able to assist you in discovering what legal actions are available to you.
Source: cdc.gov, "Drowsy Driving - 19 States and the District of Columbia, 2009-2010," January 4, 2013