There are approximately 100,000 accidents in the U.S. every year attributed to drowsy driving, according to the National Sleep Foundation. In a poll conducted by the NSF, nearly 37% of those surveyed admitted to falling asleep at the wheel and 4% said they had been involved in an accident due to drowsy driving. Overall, drowsy driving kills more than 1,500 people every year and injures approximately 71,000.
Those most vulnerable to the risks of drowsy driving are males under the age of 30, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other high risk candidates include females under the age of 26, late night shift workers and people with sleep disorders. The dangers of drowsiness while driving include:
- Slower reaction time, which increases the likelihood of an accident
- Inability to concentrate, which can cause drivers to miss hazard signs and other warnings
- Decline in processing information, which can hinder drivers from assessing potential dangers
Drowsy driving is particularly dangerous if it involves drivers of commercial vehicles, which is why there are federal and state regulations that limit the number of hours truck drivers can be on the road and mandate regular breaks.
The NHTSA recommends that drivers prevent drowsy driving by:
- Staying off the road if you are tired
- Not driving if you have taken a sleep aid or medication that makes you sleepy
- Avoid driving long distances with little sleep
- Taking regular breaks from driving when taking long trips
- Have another driver take over if you are feeling drowsy
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.