Burning the candle at both ends? You might want to think twice—and then get some rest—before sitting behind the wheel. Multiple studies conclude drowsiness to be just as impairing as alcohol, resulting in similar negative effects to drivers' judgment, reaction times, and concentration, all leading to a potenial distracted driving accident. Studies report that 9 people die each day in the United States from distracted driving accidents.
Though most people wouldn't risk the consequences of driving drunk, too many individuals drive while tired on a regular basis—and when they do, they endanger themselves and everyone on the road.
Drowsy driving is a grossly underreported traffic safety issue, in part because fatigue is often difficult to detect or prove after a crash.
Though federal statistics estimate that drowsiness is a factor in just one to two percent of accidents, a 2018 study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found the percentage of crashes involving tired drivers to be nearly eight times higher.
In fact, researchers determined that 9.5 percent of all accidents—and 10.8 percent of property damage crashes—involved fatigue.
These accidents have a number of commonalities:
- Most happen in the late afternoon or between midnight and 6 a.m.
- They frequently occur on rural roads and highways
- Often involve a single driver and no evidence of braking
Additionally, commercial drivers, shift workers, people with untreated sleep disorders, motorists who take prescription medication with sedating side effects, and others who don't get enough sleep appear to be most at risk.
You can do your part to prevent drowsy driving crashes by getting at least seven hours of sleep, and avoiding heavy foods and sedating medications before driving. Stop for a coffee and a 20– to 30–minute catnap—or let someone else drive—if you have trouble keeping your eyes open, start drifting in and out of your lane, or don't remember the past several miles you've driven.
Injured by a Drowsy Driver? We Can Help.
If you were hurt or sustained significant property damage in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. The experienced car accident injury attorneys of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can help you build a strong case for financial recovery. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.588.6303 today to schedule your free consultation.