Nov. 1-8 is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week
Thanks to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), Nov. 1-8, 2020 is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. It makes sense when you consider that we “fall back” to Standard time this week, which affects our sleep pattern. The goal of their annual campaign is to reduce the number of drivers who drive while sleep-deprived by raising awareness and education about the dangers of drowsy driving and how to prevent it. There are many dangers associated with driving drowsy and the alarming statistics presented in this article show why we need to raise awareness.
Drowsy driving accident statistics
According to the NSF:
- One out of every 10 drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
- One out of every eight car accidents that lead to hospitalization is caused by drowsy driving.
- Drowsy driving car accidents are responsible for 6,400 deaths each year.
- About half of U.S. adult drivers admit to getting behind the wheel while feeling drowsy on a regular basis.
- About 20 percent of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in the past year and 40 percent admit to it at least once since they got their driver’s license.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every year about 100,000 police-reported crashes involve drowsy driving. These crashes result in more than 1,550 fatal car accidents and 71,000 injuries annually.
How does drowsiness affect our driving ability?
It may come as a surprise to some but driving while drowsy creates similar impacts on our driving abilities as driving under the influence of alcohol. A person who has gone more than 20 hours without sleep has the same driving impairment as a person with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% – the U.S. legal limit. Drivers are three times as likely to get into a car accident when they are fatigued as they are after a good night’s rest. Even when a driver only falls into a “micro-sleep” for a few seconds, they are at risk of running themselves off the road or crashing into another person or vehicle.
Prevent a drowsy driving accident
- Stage an intervention: drowsy driving is especially common with drivers under the age of 25, who make up about half of all drowsy driving collisions.
- Drivers should avoid driving in the middle of the night or at other times when they would normally be sleeping. If this can’t be avoided then a nap should be taken before heading out.
- Drivers should never get behind the wheel after taking medication that has a drowsy side effect.
- If a driver gets behind the wheel and feels themselves nodding off; they should pull over and take a nap.
- Drive with another person on long road trips.
- Leave enough time to reach your destination so that you can take a break to sleep.
If you were injured because of a driver who fell asleep at the wheel, you deserve full compensation for your injuries, medical bills and lost wages.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!