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Drowsy driving a factor in a significant number of car accidents

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are inherent dangers on Louisiana roadways, including distracted driving, driving under the influence and reckless driving. One issue that is also a concern is drowsy driving. Given the statistics stating that around 50% of adult drivers across the nation admit to drowsy driving, this is the cause of many car accidents.

The problem of drowsy driving is so prevalent that an entire week is dedicated to preventing it. Scheduled in the first week of November 2020, Drowsy Driving Prevention Week is designed to highlight the issue. Along with the number of drivers who admit to drowsy driving, another 20% state that they have fallen asleep while driving in the past year. More than 40% admit that since becoming drivers, they have fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once.

Annually, around 100,000 accidents are reported to police with drowsy driving as a factor according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. About 71,000 people are hurt, and 1,550 people die each year in these accidents. AAA says that the actual number of drowsy driving crashes may be three times what the police-reported statistics say. In its study, AAA suggests there could be 6,400 fatalities per year. This would mean that there are 350% more drowsy driving deaths than those reported as such.

For drivers who have not slept in 20 hours, their reaction times bear similarities to those registering .08 for alcohol in the blood, which is sufficient for a DUI arrest. If a driver is fatigued, there is triple the chance of being in a collision.

Getting more sleep, using technology to warn drivers who may be dozing, holding interventions for at-risk groups like college students, checking medication to see if there is a drowsiness side effect and emphasizing safety at work with sufficient sleep are all factors that can reduce the incidence of drowsy driving. Still, this is a problem that is likely to continue. After car accidents in which drowsy driving was suspected, those injured or families who have lost a loved one might consider a legal filing for compensation to cover for medical costs, lost wages and more. A law firm experienced in car accidents may be able to help.