Too often people don’t realize that drowsy driving has the same cognitive effect as driving while intoxicated and can be just as dangerous. Most people would not get behind the wheel and drive while drunk, but they might not think twice about driving while drowsy or fatigued. Unfortunately, it happens every day.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving accounted for some 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries and 795 deaths in 2017, but the actual numbers are predicted to be much higher. Another study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that 7% of all crashes and 16.5% of all fatal crashes involved drowsy driving. If those numbers hold true, this means that more than 5,000 people died in drowsy-driving related motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2019 alone. In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a survey of nearly 150,000 adults 18 years or older revealed that one in 25 adult drivers has admitted to falling asleep while driving at least once in the previous month. If you close your eyes for just five seconds while driving 55 miles per hour, you will travel more than 125 yards. That is the distance of a football field.
Tips to Avoid Drowsy Driving
To help avoid drowsy driving, the National Sleep Foundation has created a list of tips for drivers to follow:
Always try to get six to eight hours of sleep each night;
If you have been awake for 24 hours straight or longer, never drive;
If you are sleepy and must drive, drink something caffeinated to help make you more aware;
For long drives, plan on stopping to rest every 100 miles or every two hours of time spent on the road;
Ideally, only operate a motor vehicle during typical waking hours (may vary from person to person).
What Happens If a Drowsy Driver Causes a Car Accident?
If you have been involved in a car crash and you believe that the driver who caused the accident was sleep-deprived, drowsy, or may have fallen asleep at the wheel, contact Paradowski Law at (855) 524-2976 to schedule a free consultation. Drowsy driving can result in serious property damage, injuries, and even loss of life.