These Drowsy Driving Car Accident Statistics will Wake You Right Up

More than 300,000 auto accidents every year can be linked to fatigued drivers who fall asleep at the wheel, and more than 6000 of these crashes end in deaths. The first step to preventing this auto accidents is to make drivers aware of the risk of driving while fatigued.

That data comes from the Governors Highway Safety Association which estimates that 328,000 car accidents every year can be linked to drowsy driving.  Out of these, more than 191,000 result in serious personal injuries while 6,400 crashes result in wrongful deaths. The Governors Highway Safety Association also estimates that the total cost of these auto accidents, not including property damage, amounts to more than 109 billion dollars each year.

About 10 to 20 percent of all care accidents and truck accidents in the United States can be linked to driving under the influence of tiredness or fatigue.  The actual number could be even higher because it’s hard to tell if a driver was dozing off or fell asleep at the wheel after an accident.  Unlike with alcohol – related car accidents in which it is possible to identify and determine if the person was drunk at the time of the accident, there are no tests that can identify if a person dozed off in the seconds before a car crash.  All data points to the probability that drowsy driving is much more common than estimated.

Traffic safety organizations recently marked the first week of November as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, drawing attention to the specific hazards that affect drivers who are driving in a state of fatigue or sleepiness.  The  effects of sleepiness on a person’s driving abilities have earlier been compared to the effects of alcohol on a person’s ability to drive safely.  In fact, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, a driver who has gone more than 18 hours without sleep may exhibit the same kind of impairment that is seen in a person with a blood alcohol concentration of .05%. In the case of a driver who has gone more than 21 hours without sleep, the impairment could be similar to that seen in a person with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 % or the maximum legally allowed limit.  If the person has gone more than 24 hours without sleep, his level of impairment could be equal to someone driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .10%.

Older people who are likely to be on more than one type of medication may be at a specific risk of drowsy driving because of the effects of these medications.  However, the data shows that more than half of all car accidents caused by drowsy driving involve drivers below the age of 25.

Make sure you have plenty of sleep before you begin driving, especially if you are planning a long trip.  Take frequent rest breaks on a long journey, especially if you are driving alone.

The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.  If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages.   You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages.  Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.

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