Fatigue Driving Can Be Dangerous on the Road
If you drive drowsy you may be risking your own safety and the safety of those riding in your car with you along with other motorists out on the roadway. Not getting enough sleep poses serious consequences in the workplace, at school, in the home, and especially on our roads and highways.
Driving Drowsy Similar To Driving Under the Influence
Like drugs or alcohol, fatigue, or sleep loss impairs our ability to drive. Some of the areas affected include:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Reaction time
Driving drowsy or fatigued may be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Watch Youtube Video – The Danger of Drowsy Drivers:
Drivers Admit To Nodding Off or Falling Asleep at Wheel
A survey was conducted by the American Automobile Association Foundation which found that about 41 percent of motorists admit to having nodded off or fallen asleep while operating a motor vehicle at some point in their lives. The same survey determined, more than one in four motorists admitted having driven when they were so tired they had a difficult time holding their eyes open within the past 30 days.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that on average annual drowsy or fatigued driving is responsible for as many as 100,000 automobile crashes, 1,550 traffic fatalities, and 71,000 injuries. However, among all the major factors contributing to car accidents, like speeding, weather situations, and alcohol or drug use, drowsiness is the hardest for crash investigators and law enforcement to detect and quantify.
In California in the year 2013, the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System indicated that drowsy driving led to about 4,283 traffic collisions, causing injuries to more than 2,044 people and resulted in the death of at least 28 people.
Traffic Collisions are the Number 1 Killer of Teenagers in Our Country
Drowsy or tired driving is especially alarming for our younger drivers. Traffic collisions are the number one killer of teenagers in our country. These accidents take more young lives from us every day than murder, suicide, and cancer combined. Sleep-related crashes are most common in young people, who have a tendency to sleep too little, stay up late and drive at night.
Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving
- Yawning, excessive blinking or frequently rubbing your eyes
- Difficulty recalling the past few miles you’ve driven
- Drifting from your lane
- Trouble keeping your head up
- Missing your exit
- Hitting the rumble strip
- Feeling irritable and restless
If you notice any of the above warning signs, you should find a safe location to pull over and rest. If you have an occupant in the car with you consider changing drivers. Simply opening up the window or increasing the volume on the radio are not really effective ways to combat drowsiness.
Sacramento Personal Injury and Auto Accident Attorneys
I’m Ed Smith, an injury lawyer in Sacramento. If you or someone you love has been injured by what you believe was a drowsy or fatigued driver, give me a call at (916) 921-6400 for free and friendly advice. Or, give me a call free of toll at (800) 404-5400 for fast, friendly, and free advice.
I am pleased to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum in California.
My successes may be viewed on our Verdicts and Settlements page.
For more articles like this one visit my personal injury website: www.autoaccident.com.