The Dangers of a Drowsy Driver
You know the feeling: it’s Monday morning, you haven’t had your coffee yet, and you’re stuck in slow moving traffic on your way into Jersey City. Drowsiness is a feeling many Americans have become accustomed to. But at what cost?
In the quarter century from 1988 through 2012, the lives of 1,018,581 men, women, and children have ended violently as the result of motor vehicle crashes in the United States.
While not all of those motor vehicle-related deaths were attributed to drowsy drivers, it is a circumstance we could better control.
How often do Americans fall asleep behind the wheel?
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving is tied to at least 100,000 motor-vehicle crashes and more than 1,500 deaths per year. Additionally, about 71,000 of those crashes involve non-fatal injuries.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Report
In data compiled by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers were asked about the attitudes and behaviors of drowsy drivers.
- 95 percent of American drivers believe it is unacceptable for someone to drive when they’re sleepy or are having trouble keeping their eyes open.
- 7 percent of drivers view sleepy drivers as a very serious threat to their personal safety.
- 9 percent of drivers consider it unacceptable for someone to drive when they are so sleepy that they have difficulty keeping their eyes open.
Despite their judgment on the matter, many of those drivers also admit they have driven while they were drowsy.
- 3 percent of the drivers drove when they were so tired that they had a difficult time keeping their eyes open within the past 30 days.
- 19 percent have done this more than once.
- 2 percent have done this regularly.
The full report is compiled of various aspects of the culture of traffic safety.
Drowsy drivers are less alert.
All drivers must be alert at all times. There are obstacles that can appear suddenly, like another vehicle, person, or animal in the road. But what happens if a driver is drowsy? Being drowsy while driving can be a dangerous distraction. It can also slow a driver’s reaction time and affect their ability to make good decisions. Drowsy driving can quickly escalate into damage to yourself and your vehicle, another person, and other property damage.
What are some warning signs of a drowsy driver?
More often than not, drowsy drivers fall under the umbrella of a reckless driver. Unless a driver admits they had fallen asleep to the officer at a traffic stop, it can go unreported as drowsiness.
However, there are signs that can help you be aware of a drowsy driver when you’re on the road. Warning signs that you may be too drowsy to drive include:
- Blinking frequently
- Difficulty remembering the past few miles you’ve driven
- Drifting from your lane
- Hitting the rumble strip
- Missing an exit or traffic signs
- Persistent yawning
Feeling drowsy? Please don’t drive!
Driving while you’re drowsy can cause more harm than good. There are plenty of alternatives that can help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Get six to eight hours of rest every night, drink coffee for a temporary boost of caffeine, or get a ride from an Uber or Lyft. Drinking while drowsy is dangerous, and it can have fatal consequences. If you are drowsy and decide to drive, it could be just as dangerous as if you were driving drunk.
Contact a Drowsy Driving Accidents Lawyer.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to a drowsy driver, contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone as soon as possible. With over 30 years of experience, Attorney Anthony Carbone will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.