A new study published by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety refutes an earlier study that said that only 1-3% of all motor vehicle accidents were affected by drowsy drivers. The new study by AAA which looked at 14,268 crashes, revealed that a higher number of crashes involved drowsy driving. The new study suggests that drowsy driving was a factor in:
- 6% of car accidents in which a vehicle had to be towed away from the accident scene
- 7% of car accidents in which someone was injured
- 13% of fatal car accidents
If these proportions were extrapolated across all motor vehicle accidents in the nation, it suggests that 328,000 motor vehicle accidents annually involve a driver who was drowsy.
Signs of Drowsy Driving
If you are driving and you find yourself exhibiting one of the following behaviors, it’s time to get off the road, drink some coffee or caffeinated beverage or get some sleep:
- Remembering the last few miles you drove
- Drifting out of your lane and onto the rumble strips on shoulder
- Blinking or trouble keeping your eyes open.
Those at a greater risk for drowsy driving include adults between the ages of 18-29, shift workers, adults with children at home, people with health conditions like sleep apnea.
Preventing Drowsy Driving
It is estimated that 1 in 10 of drivers has fallen asleep in the past year while driving. The following tips may very well prevent a drowsy driving accident.
- Be sure you get sufficient sleep before you drive. Every adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep at night but many people do not that get enough sleep.
- Drink a caffeinated beverage like coffee if you feel sleep, allowing 30 minutes for the caffeine to take effect.
- Alternate drivers
- If you are feeling drowsy, get off the road and take a nap or stay somewhere for the night.
Drowsy Driving can cause slower reaction time and judgment. It can also cause a driver to have difficulties processing formation , have decreased driving performance and also drive more aggressively.
Claims of Neglience
The court does not treat drivers who drive while fatigued or drowsy very well. The courts have found drivers guilty of gross negligence in cases involving accidents caused by drowsy drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or a loved one killed, by a drowsy driver, you may be able to file a claim against the negligent driver. If the driver who caused the accident was driving professionally, the company for whom the driver was working for may also be liable for damages.
A personal injury attorney can help you with your case when there have been serious injuries. The Farber Law Group has been representing accident victims and their families for more than 30 years. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.