A recent study revealed that about half of all drivers in New York and other states in the nation have admitted to getting behind the wheel of their vehicle when they feel drowsy. About 20% of these individuals admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel of their vehicle within the past year. These statistics can be shocking and alert people of just how prominent drowsy driving actually is.
How does drowsiness affect driving?
Drowsy driving is estimated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to be responsible for around 100,000 motor vehicle accidents every year. Out of these accidents, more than 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities occur. These numbers can be quite astounding to take in at first glance.
When an overly fatigued driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, many of their driving abilities are compromised. Drowsiness can cause a reduction in attention, vigilance, reaction time and much more. In fact, many experts equate the effects of fatigue as being similar to those of being drunk. More specifically, they claim that a person who has been awake for 20 straight hours has the same level of impairment as a person who has a blood alcohol level of .08%.
Working to stop drowsy driving
Just as there are many campaigns out there to alert people of the dangers of drunk driving, more and more campaigns are showing up that are alerting drivers of the dangers of drowsy driving. Many vehicle manufacturers have developed safety technology such as Lane Departure Warning that can help to assist drowsy drivers when they get behind the wheel. In reality, the best way to curb drowsy driving is simply to choose to go get sleep instead of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Drowsy driving is becoming a new epidemic throughout the country. With over 100,000 accidents happening every year, it’s an area that many drivers are finding themselves victims of. If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to a drowsy driver, it’s important to seek assistance from a lawyer to help fight your case.