CBS News reports a recent survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that a high percentage of respondents (96 percent) said that driving drowsy is dangerous and unacceptable. Ironically, a third of these same respondents admit to driving while fatigued and have put other motorists at risk of a car accident caused by drowsy driving in Greensboro, and throughout the country. There were more than 3,100 U.S. residents over the age of 15 interviewed for the survey.
Our Asheville personal injury lawyers know that people who work long hours, get brief periods of sleep or expend a tremendous amount of energy throughout the day are the ones most likely to cause a drowsy driving-related accident. It is important that if you feel tired or aren’t well rested, that you limit the time you spend behind the wheel to prevent other motorists from being at risk of a car collision.
Recent studies have indicated that drowsy driving has become a serious problem that needs attention. In 2010, one in six fatal accidents nationwide were caused by a drowsy driver. In addition, more than 12 percent of accidents last year that resulted in serious injury were caused by a drowsy driver. Men and young drivers are the two demographics that cause the most fatigue-related accidents. Two thirds of drowsy driving accidents involve a male driver. The 16- to 24-year-old age group is twice as likely to be involved in a drowsy driving accident as the 40 to 59-year-old group.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found in a study that the most common characteristics of a crash caused by fatigue are:
-A single vehicle veers of the road or across the center line.
-Crashes most often occur on roads with higher speed limits permitted.
-The crash usually results in serious injury as opposed to just a minor fender bender.
-The driver is often riding alone.
-Late night, early morning or mid-afternoon are the most common times of day for a crash to occur.
-The driver typically makes no attempt to avoid a crash.
Since there is no simple test to monitor when an accident is caused by drowsiness, little is known about the risks related to drowsy driving accidents. Researchers have found that sleep loss, use of certain medications, consumption of alcohol and undiagnosed sleep disorders can increase the risks causing an accident related to falling asleep at the wheel.
The following tips can help a driver reduce the chances of an accident caused by fatigue:
-Make sure someone rides in the vehicle with you. A passenger can initiate conversations and keep the driver awake.
-Follow the 100-mile rule. A break should be taken every 100 miles or every two hours, whichever comes first.
-Don’t attempt a long trip with less than seven hours of sleep.
If you begin to feel groggy while driving, pull over to a safe location and either take a nap, a walk or get something to eat. You may be surprised how a quick stop can break the monotony and help make you feel more rested or awake.
Contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. if you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver in North Carolina or South Carolina. Receive a free consultation from an experienced injury lawyer by calling 1-800-887-1965 today.
Drowsy driving common, survey shows: Guess who does it most, by David W. Freeman, CBS News.
More Blog Entries:
Truck Driver Shortage Leads to a High Risk of Trucking Accidents in North Carolina due to Driver Fatigue, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, September 8, 2011.
Holiday Weekends Bring a Heightened Risk of Car Accidents in Gastonia, Elsewhere in the State, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, May 17, 2011.