“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that each year 100,000 crashes reported to police are caused by drowsy driving or driver fatigue, resulting in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses,” says Commissioner David J. Swarts of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
Too many car accidents in New York and nationwide are caused by drowsy drivers. We all probably know of someone who has continued to drive even though he or she was sleepy and drowsy. We urge you to take the time to recognize this dangerous behavior and help us all put an end to it because drowsy driving comes with some serious consequences. What’s most unfortunate is that most drivers aren’t even aware of their drowsy symptoms and continue driving in a sleepy state, which could be the worst and most dangerous move on our roadways.
Our New York car accident attorneys bring up this topic as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week comes to an end tomorrow. During this time, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the National Sleep Foundation and other safe-driving advocates around the country are raising awareness about this dangerous driving habit. But we encourage you to help prevent drowsy driving all year long.
Drowsy driving is so common that a recent National Sleep Foundation study concluded that about 30 percent of drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel. More than 50 percent of surveyed drivers said they’ve driven while drowsy. These statistics don’t add up considering more than 95 percent of drivers say that this driving behavior is completely unacceptable.
Run-off-road accidents are a likely outcome of a drowsy driving accident. Drowsy driving-related accidents account for about 50 percent of these types of accidents. They also account for about a third of all accident fatalities across the country and about 70 percent of traffic deaths in rural areas.
Recent studies indicate that staying awake for about 20 hours causes a person to show show some of the debilitating characteristics as someone who is legally drunk.
Signs that you may be a little too drowsy while driving:
-Feeling irritable, restless or aggressive.
-Rubbing your eyes a lot or yawning excessively.
-Daydreaming or experiencing wandering thoughts.
-Having a hard time keeping your head up.
-Missing traffic signs, traffic lights, turns and exits.
-Having a difficult time remembering the last couple of miles you’ve driven.
-Drifting or swerving on the roadway.
-Having a tough time focusing on the roadway.
-Blinking a lot.
-Feeling heavy eyelids.
To help reduce the risks of a drowsy driving accident, you’re urged to get plenty of sleep (at least seven hours) before hitting the road for a long car ride. Drive with a passenger whenever possible on long trips to help keep you awake and share driving duties if you feel sleepy. By following these few safety tips, we can all be a little bit safer on our roadways and potentially avoid a drowsy driving car accident.
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident involving a drowsy driver, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC for a free consultation. We represent victims in Queens, Manhattan and the surrounding areas. Call 1-877-313-7673 today.
More Blog Entries:
Nassau County Reports Fewer Intersection-Related Car Accidents after Installation of Red Light Cameras, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, October 24, 2011
New York Teens at Most Risk of Car Accident Involvement within 30 Days of Obtaining a License, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, October 18, 2011