Thanksgiving is right around the corner. For many people that means long drives on the road to visit family and lots and lots of food. Whether you believe that the tryptophan in your turkey dinner is to blame or not, it’s no surprise that full stomachs and busy schedules make for more tired drivers on the roads. But is drowsy driving really a hazard?
Absolutely! In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 100,000 crashes are caused by drowsy driving every year. This is a pretty staggering statistic when you take into account the fact that drowsy driving is not a measurable factor. There are likely thousands more crashes in which drowsy driving went unnoticed as the root cause of the car accident.
As part of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week earlier this month (November 5th – 12th), the National Sleep Foundation released a number of statistics in regards to drowsy driving. Below are a few of the more shocking facts. Click here for the full list.
- 37% of adult drivers say they have actually fallen asleep at the wheel.
- Drowsy driving is the direct cause of approximately 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses per year.
- People who sleep 6-7 hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in an accident compared to those that sleep 8+ hours a night.
- A study conducted in Australia found that being awake for 24 hours straight resulted in mental impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .10 (.08 is considered legally drunk).
- 4% of adults indicated that they drive drowsy to work almost every day.
- 23% of adults surveyed said they know someone personally who has gotten in an accident due to falling asleep while driving.
Why is it so dangerous?
It may seem obvious why drowsy driving is a bad idea. It’s hard to focus on anything when you’re tired, and driving requires a high level of attentiveness. You may be surprised to find, though, that studies also show drowsy drivers are more likely to get stressed and impatient while driving and more likely to speed. Add road rage and increased speeds into the mix, and the situation can escalate quickly. It’s a recipe for disaster that wreaks havoc on thousands of motorists every year.
Many multi-million dollar lawsuits, against both individuals and businesses, have resulted from the effects of drowsy driving. If you’re involved in an accident and you think drowsy driving might be to blame, contact the experienced team at Boughter Sinak, LLC. It might be hard to prove drowsy driving, but we promise that we will fight our hardest to get you the compensation that you deserve.