Drowsy Driving Responsible for 21 Percent of Fatal Accidents
Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has revealed that at least 21 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents involve a drowsy driver. The dangers of drowsy driving are as real as the risks posed by a drunk or distracted driver. In fact, more people are likely to drive while drowsy than drive while alcohol-impaired.
Drowsy Driving Accident Statistics
The AAA Foundation's "Prevalence of Motor Vehicle Crashes Involving Drowsy Drivers, United States, 2009 - 2013" analyzed data from more than 21,292 vehicle-related collisions over a five-year period. The study demonstrated that drowsy driving is far more prevalent than earlier estimates. The AAA Foundation's research revealed:
Additional data collected by the AAA Foundation over the course of one year, through video surveillance and other data collection equipment, revealed that 22-24 percent of the drivers involved in collisions or near-collisions exhibited moderate to severe signs of drowsiness prior to the crash.
Common Signs of Drowsy Driving
Driving without sufficient sleep or while you are feeling fatigued can be extremely dangerous. Most people completely underestimate the true hazards of drowsy driving. They believe that if it happened to them, they could avoid falling asleep at the wheel. All it may take is a few seconds from the time a driver closes his or her eyes to the time the driver's vehicle is headed into an unavoidable accident.
The most common signs of drowsy driving include:
Tips to Help You Avoid Being Involved in a Drowsy Driving Accident
As is true with drunk driving accidents and distracted driving accidents, drowsy driving accidents are entirely preventable. If you want to minimize your risk of being involved in a drowsy driving accident, the following tips could save a life:
- Get a minimum of seven hours of sleep before a road trip or long drive
- Drive only during the hours of the day when you are usually awake
- Take a break every two hours or 100 miles, so you can get out of the car, walk around, stretch your legs, go to the restroom, drink a beverage or eat some food
- Do not eat any heavy foods before driving as this could cause you to become drowsy
- Travel with an alert passenger and take turns behind the wheel
- Avoid taking any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications that recommend avoiding the operation of large vehicles or warn that you could become drowsy
- Do not work long hours
- Never drive alone on dark, rural roads
Drivers who knowingly get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while they are feeling drowsy could be found negligent if their actions lead to an accident resulting in injury or death. If you believe you have become the victim of a drowsy driving accident, seek skilled legal representation to help you pursue just compensation for your injuries and losses.
- AAA Foundation: More than One-in-Five Fatal Crashes Involve Drowsy Drivers
- AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Prevalence of Motor Vehicle Crashes Involving Drowsy Drivers, United States, 2009 - 2013