Drowsy Driving Car Accident Risks and Prevention
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According to a 2015 poll from the National Sleep Foundation, more than 168 million Americans have driven a vehicle while feeling sleepy, and an astounding 103 million reported falling asleep behind the wheel at some point while driving. Of the 103 million people whove nodded off while driving, approximately eleven million reported having a car accident that was directly caused by dozing off while behind the wheel.
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 100,000 car crashes are caused by driver fatigue each year. The NHTSA also estimates that 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries are attributed to drivers who were too drowsy to drive safely. However, the NHTSA feels these figures are conservative at best, because there is no specific protocol for determining a drivers level of sleepiness after an auto accident.
Therefore, in an effort to reduce the number of drowsy driver accidents, the National Sleep Foundation is promoting Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. This annual campaign is aimed at educating the public about the dangers of driving while sleepy, as well as promoting preventative measures to help keep the roads safe for everyone.
Driver Fatigue Car Accidents: Whos at Risk?
While anyone can potentially find themselves driving while drowsy, there are certain factors associated with an increased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. These factors include:
Your age. Adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are three times more likely to drive while drowsy than any other age group. Additionally, drivers in this age group are less likely than any other age group to pull off the side of the road and nap when drowsy.
Your occupation. Shift workers are more likely to drive drowsy than those who work a regular daytime schedule. In fact, over thirty-six percent of all shift workers have reported driving to or from work while sleepy at least two times per month. Commercial drivers are also likely to drive while sleepy at least twice a month.
Your gender. Men are more likely than women to drive while drowsy, and they are almost twice as likely as women to fall asleep while driving.
Where you live. Although its not uncommon for someone to fall asleep while driving on a long, high-speed rural highway, people who live in urban areas are more prone to doze off while driving as opposed to someone living in a rural or suburban area.
How much you sleep at night. According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, getting less than six hours of sleep per night increases ones risk of having a drowsy driving car accident fivefold. Drivers who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in such a crash, and as those who sleep 8 hours or more per night have the least amount of risk.
Additionally, people suffering from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or acute insomnia are also at greater risk for sleep-related car accidents.
How many children you have. Adults with children in the householdregardless of the childrens agesare more likely to drive drowsy than adults without children.
Sleep deprivation and driving while fatigued make lapses in attention more likely to occur and can increase the likelihood a driver will be involved in a drowsy driving car accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, contact the skilled car accident lawyers at the Phillips Law Group today.
Phillips Law Group – Ph: 1-800-706-3000 .
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