If you’ve ever felt yourself fighting to stay awake while driving your vehicle, you are not alone. Three out of five adults admit to drowsy driving, and over one-third of them report actually falling asleep while behind the wheel. That’s over 100 million drivers dozing off while driving. If you have encountered a sleepy driver and suffered serious injuries as a result of a collision, a good personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recoup cash to help you with your medical bills.
The Facts About Drowsy Driving
The problem of driver fatigue is widespread. Statistics detailing reported accidents from the National Sleep Foundation are alarming:
- Estimates indicate that at least 100,000 crashes are a result of driver fatigue annually;
- Over 71,000 injuries occur due to drowsy driving every year;
- The number of fatalities due to sleepy drivers approaches 2,000 per year;
- $12.5 billion in financial losses occur due to this problem annually.
- Most drowsy driving crashes occur between 4-6 a.m.
Effects of Drowsy Driving
There are obvious impacts of driving while fatigued. One study found that after being awake for 18 hours, individuals suffer impairment equivalent to having a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .05. Certainly, attention lapses that could contribute to collisions occur in this state. Survey respondents report that when driving while drowsy, they experience stress, impatience, and faster driving. While older drivers are more likely to pull over for a quick nap, younger individuals try to push through the exhaustion. Although it is true that drivers tend to doze off when traveling at high speeds on long, rural roadways that become boring, drivers in urban areas are more likely to doze behind the wheel.
Who are Drowsy Drivers?
Anyone might experience driving while fatigued at some time. Certain categories of drivers tend to drive while drowsy more often:
- Persons aged 18-29 are the most likely to drive while fatigued;
- Men are more often involved in drowsy driving accidents than women;
- Shift workers report driving while drowsy a few times every month;
- Commercial drivers such as truckers, bus drivers, and tow truck drivers spend long periods of time on the road without taking a break;
- Individuals with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea may become fatigued more frequently than typical drivers.
Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving
Drivers should absolutely pull over if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- Excessive blinking or yawning;
- Driving past an exit without realizing it;
- Drifting across lanes;
- Driving over a rumble strip;
- Having trouble remembering recent miles driven.
When a Drowsy Driver Collides into You
The fact of the matter is, innocent people are hurt every day because drowsy drivers neglect to pull over. Settlements in the multi-millions of dollars have been conferred upon victims and their families due to this negligent and irresponsible behavior. If you experience such a collision and suffer serious injuries, the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton will pursue justice aggressively on your behalf. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.