Although many motorists may consider driving when they’re tired to be relatively harmless, research shows otherwise. Nearly 900 people died in drowsy driving accidents in 2014 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Research from the National Sleep Foundation shows that drowsiness can be as impairing as alcohol because both negatively impact reaction time and make it harder to focus on driving. In some ways, drowsy driving may be even more dangerous than drunk driving. For example, drunk drivers often drive slower than usual in an effort to compensate for their impairment; when drivers fall asleep at the wheel, they're unable to hit their brakes or swerve to avoid a collision.
Sixty percent of adults reported that they’ve driven while fatigued, and approximately one-third admit to actually having fallen asleep while driving. These numbers may only show a fraction of the real picture. There's no way to test for drowsiness after an accident, and drivers who survive drowsy driving accidents may be reluctant to admit they dozed off. Additionally, reporting practices for accidents caused by driver fatigue vary by state, so national safety organizations may receive incomplete information.
Drivers who don't get enough rest are more prone to drive while tired, as are long-haul commercial drivers, shift workers, drivers who use over-the-counter or prescription medications, and drivers with untreated sleep disorders. Also, young, inexperienced drivers are more likely to drive while sleepy than older, more experienced drivers.
If You Were Injured by a Drowsy Driver
Pinpointing drowsy driving as the cause of an accident can be difficult. If you were injured in an accident caused by a sleepy driver, the experienced legal team with Holton Law Firm can provide you with the vigorous representation you need when seeking a financial recovery. Contact Holton Law Firm today for a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation.