Drowsy Driving More Than Widespread Than Ever
The latest news about the number of sleep-deprived drivers on our roadways is, well, eye-opening. In a study described as the most in-depth ever on the subject, researchers found the percentage of crashes involving drowsy drivers is almost eight times higher than previously thought, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
A new study by AAA reveals the shocking statistics
The report, “Prevalence of Drowsy Driving Crashes: Estimates from a Large-Scale Naturalistic Driving Study,” involved analysis of in-vehicle dashcam video from more than 700 crashes. Researchers examined the faces of drivers in the three minutes before a crash using scientific analysis of a driver’s eyes to determine their drowsiness. They found that 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of crashes resulting in significant property damage involved driver drowsiness. Federal estimates say drowsiness is a factor in just one or two percent of crashes.
Furthermore, a recent AAA Foundation survey found 29 percent of respondents admitted to driving in the past month when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open. Jake Nelson, director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research for AAA, noted losing just two or three hours of sleep multiplies the risk for being involved in a crash by four times – “the equivalent of driving drunk.”
“Don’t be fooled, the only antidote for drowsiness is sleep,” added William Van Tassel, manager of Driver Training for AAA. “Short-term tactics like drinking coffee, singing, rolling down the window will not work. Your body’s need for sleep will eventually override your brain’s attempts to stay awake.”
Unfortunately, even if you are cautious about not driving while drowsy, not all motorists are as safety-conscious. You could be involved in an accident with a driver who just worked a double shift and fell asleep behind the wheel. Or you could be the victim of a bleary-eyed long-distance trucker who ignores laws mandating rest periods.
The legal advocacy you need after an accident
In either case, or others like them, you are innocent of any wrongdoing. That fact won’t stop the other driver’s insurance company from trying to find you at fault or at least partly responsible for the accident. You may be injured, out of work and facing large medical bills. At worst, you may be mourning the loss of a loved one. Quickly resolving the case by accepting a settlement may seem like a good idea to you at the time, but it is never in your best interests and you will regret it later.
You need a legal advocate who is familiar with cases just like yours. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, contact the law office of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC, a law firm and litigation boutique in Rockville, Maryland.