The first week of November was National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. This event is organized by the National Sleep Foundation; however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also hosted a forum aimed at preventing deaths and injuries due to drowsy driving. This year’s NHTSA event involved state and federal government agencies convening to identify research objectives and public policy needs and to further the development of effective strategies for fighting drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving is a major cause of collisions in Georgia and throughout the United States. A motorist who is fatigued is much more likely to become involved in a crash than a motorist who is not in danger of dozing off behind the wheel.
These drowsy drivers can, and should, be held accountable for the dangerous choices they make that result in motor vehicle accidents occurring. An Atlanta drowsy driving accident lawyer can provide representation and assistance to motorists who are injured in a crash caused by a fatigued driver, as well as to loved ones of those killed in a crash with a tired motorist. You may be entitled to compensation caused by crash losses if you can prove the motorist was negligent for not pulling over when he became too tired to be safe.
Drowsy Driving Crash Risks
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided information for motorists during National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. CDC reported one out of every 25 adult drivers has fallen asleep at the same time they were driving their cars at least once in the past 30 days. Drowsy driving was listed as a possible cause of as many as 72,000 collisions in the United States in 2014, which caused 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths over the course of the year. However, these estimates are likely low estimates and some research shows as many as 6,000 car accidents each year occur due to drowsy drivers.
Drivers who fail to get sufficient sleep are at the biggest risk of getting into a drowsy driving collision. Up to 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder which prevents them from getting sufficient rest. This could include sleep apnea, among other conditions. Many of the Americans with sleep disorders are not getting sufficient treatment to allow for a full night’s sleep.
CDC also indicates there are others who may not get enough sleep and who may be at greater risk of drowsy driving, including:
- Commercial drivers of buses, tractor trailers, and tow trucks.
- Shift workers who work long shifts or who work overnight shifts.
- Drivers who utilize medications which cause them to become sleepy.
Drivers need to be aware of signs of fatigue and must make the responsible choice to stop and rest so they don’t injure themselves or others. Frequent yawning, missing exits, drifting out of lanes, or having a hard time remembering the past few miles you drove are all signs you have become too tired to drive safely. If a driver ignores these signs and continues operating his vehicle, he could become responsible for resulting collisions.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a drowsy driving collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.