Reducing Drowsy Driving Crashes in Georgia
Traffic safety advocate opinions diverge widely on how to attack the drowsy driving crisis. While the National Sleep Foundation advocates broader laws that prohibit sleep-deprived driving, other groups contend that addressing the problem with legislation might be inadequate because of enforcement challenges. Although drowsy driving laws may not result in many prosecutions, advocates of the approach point out that distracted driving laws have had an impact on motorist behavior. Although few people are prosecuted or convicted under distracted driving statutes, a 2014 study published in the American Public Health Association journal revealed that states with primary enforcement distracted driving laws average approximately three percent fewer traffic fatalities. In other words, laws that prohibit unsafe driving practices can have an impact on public behavior that reaches beyond the actual risk of prosecution.
Sleep-Deprived Drivers Have Not Received the National Attention of Drunk or Distracted Drivers
Some groups point out that sleepy drivers have not attracted the national attention garnered by drunk or distracted driving. These organizations emphasize the importance of programs analogous to the national "designated driver" campaign championed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that focused public attention on intoxicated driving.
Despite this lack of national attention and awareness, drowsy driving merits a similar level of concern. Studies have shown drowsy drivers exhibit a level of impaired driving akin to drunk drivers. In fact, a particular study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that drivers who were drunk or sleepy were both twice as likely to be at-fault in a car accident when compared to a sober, well-rested motorist. Experimental studies reveal that driving with only four hours of sleep results in the same degree of impairment as drinking a six-pack before driving, which is the equivalent of a 0.19 BAC according to Christopher Drake, an associate scientist at the Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders and Research Center in Detroit.
Some safety advocates also note that without changes in the lifestyle of Americans, most solutions are unlikely to generate significant results. Economic challenges faced by many families dictate employment decisions that promote drowsy driving, such as the pressures of shift work, multiple jobs, and long commutes. A fair number of drivers also might suffer from sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia. The risk created by these health-related conditions are magnified by the widespread use of prescription and over-the-counter medications that exacerbate drowsiness.
Put Our Firm's Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work for You
While solutions might yield benefits in the future, the threat to roadway safety posed by drowsy drivers is not likely to disappear soon. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drowsy or otherwise careless driver, or you have lost a loved one, our experienced auto accident lawyers work diligently on behalf of our clients in order to maximize the value of their cases.
The law firm of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries in Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.
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