Drowsy Driving is a Serious Problem in the United States
Drowsy driving is a serious problem in the United States. Those who drive while fatigued have a decreased reaction time, much like a driver who is impaired on drugs or alcohol. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 100,000 fatigue-related accidents that occur each year, leading to over 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries.
Many fatigued driving accidents involve only one vehicle. This, however, does not reduce the ability for a passenger involved in a fatigued driving accident to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Two vehicle accidents can also be caused by drowsy driving, which often occurs when a driver veers over past the center line due to fatigue, which can result in a head-on collision. When a driver is drowsy, they have a similarly impaired reaction time to those who are driving while impaired. This could lead to rear end accidents, resulting in serious injuries and even death.
Per a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 71 percent of Americans indicate that they drive a vehicle on their commute to work. Of those polled, twenty seven percent admitted to driving while drowsy at least a few times per month. Roughly twelve percent of those polled admitted to driving while drowsy every week while four percent noted that they do so on a daily basis.
According to the NHTSA, there are a number of factors that increase the risk of driver fatigue. These are as follows:
- Sleep loss
- Medications that are sedating
- Consuming alcohol
- Working irregular hours or night shifts
- Untreated sleep apnea or narcolepsy
- Untreated sleep disorders
- Driving for a long distance without stopping
- Driving between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
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