The majority of adults in the United States are not getting enough sleep each night. Unfortunately, this has serious consequences for road safety. If you or a loved one is the victim of a drowsy driving crash, consulting an experienced personal injury law firm is the best bet for protecting your rights.
Drowsy Driving #1 Problem of Drivers
According to Psych Central, the majority of adults require seven to eight hours of sleep per night. A failure to get enough sleep creates a "sleep debt" that eventually has to be paid. Not getting enough sleep can have cumulative effects and can result in delayed reaction time, impaired cognitive function and extreme drowsiness.
Unfortunately, a National Sleep Foundation poll found that 29 percent of adults are getting six hours or less of sleep each night. Another 41.31 percent of adults are getting between six and seven hours. Only 21.48 percent get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, while 8.21 percent are sleeping more than eight hours per night.
With so few adults getting enough sleep, it is no wonder that respondents to a recent CarInsurance.com survey reported drowsy driving as their number one problem. Car Insurance.com asked 2,000 drivers about times when they drove despite knowing they shouldn't in order to find out what it was that was making these drivers unsafe. A full 68 percent said that they drove when they knew that they should not do so because they were too fatigued.
It was surprising that so many drivers operated their vehicles when fatigued, since Cheat Sheet reports that 60 percent of motorists believe that it should be illegal to drive when drowsy. Most states do not have laws about fatigued driving, with the exception of New Jersey and Arkansas. In New Jersey, drowsy driving is considered reckless driving and in Arkansas a drowsy driver can be charged with negligent homicide if he drives fatigue and causes a deadly crash.
Deadly crashes do occur every year due to drowsy drivers. The National Sleep Foundation says that there are an estimated 1,550 fatalities that occur due to fatigued driving. Another 71,000 people are hurt annually, and drowsy driving causes $12.5 billion in monetary losses every year.
There are a high number of collisions because around 1/3 of people admit that they have fallen asleep behind the wheel in the prior year and at least 60 percent of adult drivers drive while fatigued annually.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates has reported that drivers who are dozing off behind the wheel are especially likely to become involved in head-on collisions, road departure crashes and rear-end collisions.
Drivers need to be aware of the dangers that they present to themselves and others and should focus on getting more sleep and staying off the roads when they are too fatigued to be safe. A driver who is drowsy can be just as dangerous as someone who has consumed too much alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, contact David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394 to discuss your rights. Serving Palm Beach County and all of South Florida.