Each year, public education programs occur that aim to inform motorists about some of the biggest risks they face behind the wheel. During the month of November, the National Sleep Foundation held one such educational event: National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Drowsy Driving Prevention Week took place between November 1 and November 8 this year, and the goal of the week was to help motorists better understand just how dangerous it is to operate a vehicle while they are overly tired.
Too many motorists are unaware of the significant impairments that driving while drowsy can cause. Motorists who make the choice to keep driving even when they are dozing can end up hurting themselves, others, or even cause fatalities. Victims injured by these overtired drivers need to consult with Naples personal injury attorneys to learn about their options for taking legal action and getting help to recover compensation for losses.
Drowsy Driving Accidents Are a Significant Risk
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a fact sheet as part of National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week so motorists could become better informed of the extent of the dangers facing them on the roads. The CDC warned that “drowsy driving is a major problem in the United States,” and that the “tragic results of drowsy driving are alarming.”
Statistics show that the CDC’s dire warnings about drowsy driving dangers are not unfounded. Approximately 1 in every 25 adults admitted to falling asleep while behind the wheel in the 30 days before the adults took a survey asking about their driving and sleeping habits. Motorists at the greatest risk of dozing off while driving include shift workers, commercial drivers, drivers who have untreated sleep disorders and drivers who simply do not get enough rest.
Regardless of the reason why people drive when fatigued, the death and injury toll demonstrates that these motorists are extremely dangerous. The statistics show that an estimated 72,000 collisions each year are caused by drowsy drivers, which led to 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths. However, since it is not always clear that a motorist was drowsy and most people don’t admit they fell asleep and caused a crash, there are likely many fatigued-driving collisions that go unreported or are incorrectly classified. A more accurate estimate may put the number of fatal collisions involving fatigued drivers at close to 6,000 accidents.
Drivers who are fatigued are dangerous even if they don’t actually fall asleep because they have slower reaction time, can’t respond and brake as quickly, are not as capable of paying attention and may be less likely to make good decisions. These drivers, like those who actually fall asleep, should be held liable for losses they cause to victims of drowsy driving crashes.
Ryan Kuhl can help victims pursue claims for compensation after they are hurt or lose loved ones in a collision caused by driver fatigue. Victims should contact The Kelleher Firm as soon as possible, as proving impairment due to exhaustion can be a challenge.