Just about everyone knows that drunk driving and
distracted driving are some of the most common causes of motor vehicle collisions. But what
about driving while drowsy? Tired driving is often overlooked, despite
being a factor in up to 6,000 yearly fatal collisions according to data
released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, it is estimated that
1 in 25 adult drivers age 18 or older have admitted to falling asleep
while driving within the past 30 days, with roughly 60 percent of drivers
admitting to having driven while drowsy within the past year.
When a driver has not slept enough or is feeling drowsy from medications,
work, alcohol, or an untreated sleep disorder, they can start to exhibit
many effects similar to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Possibly the most dangerous aspect is that nobody knows the exact moment
that sleep overtakes their body, with drowsy drivers potentially falling
asleep at any time.
Drowsiness can have the following effects while driving:
- Slowed reaction times
- Hindered ability to make good decisions
- Drifting between lanes
- Unintentionally changing speed
- Wandering thoughts
Drowsiness Is Less Easily Identified
One of the main reasons why tired driving does not get a considerable amount
of attention is because it can be difficult to be identified following
a collision. While toxicology reports and cell phone records can provide
definitive evidence of whether a driver was intoxicated or texting at
the time of a crash, crashed caused by a driver falling asleep have less
concrete evidence. Likewise, reporting procedures are inconsistent throughout
much of the United States, with police having little to no training on
how to properly identify drowsiness as being a contributing factor in
the event of a crash. While certain modern cars are equipped with safety
features which attempt to alert a driver if they begin to drift between
lanes, drivers are still responsible for looking out for signs of fatigue.
Ways that you can protect against driver fatigue include:
- Making sure to get enough sleep before going on a road trip
- Pull over and take a 20 to 40 minute nap
- Sharing driving duty with passengers
- Exercising every few hours at rest stops
Unfortunately, nobody can ever foresee the actions of another driver. If
you have been injured in a
car accident caused by a tired driver, get in touch with the New Braunfels personal
injury lawyers at Kyle Law Firm. With more than 60 years of trusted legal
experience and millions recovered in verdicts and settlements, we have
what it takes to maximize your financial recovery.
Call (830) 476-7780 or get in touch with us online
today to review your legal options in full.