While it’s not uncommon to hear about the dangers of distracted and drunk driving, how often do we consider the risks associated with drowsy driving? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently working on strategies to end the epidemic of drowsy driving on U.S. roadways. Getting behind the wheel drowsy may not seem like it’s that dangerous, but it’s important to understand the impact fatigue has on a driver’s ability to stay safe behind the wheel. Fatigue, drowsiness, and sleeplessness can have similar impacts on one’s cognition and performance behind the wheel as alcohol can. The NHTSA is quick to point out that our 24-7, hardworking and busy society can be at odds with our ability and need to get a good night’s sleep before we get behind the wheel.
Drowsy Driving Statistics
- In 2015, there were more than 72,000 police-reported crashes involving drowsy drivers.
- Approximately 41,000 people were injured in crashes involving drowsy driving.
- There were more than 800 deaths associated with drowsy driving crashes in 2015.
- An estimated seven percent of all crashes involve drowsy driving.
- An estimated 16.5 percent of fatal crashes involving a drowsy driver.
Drowsy Driving: An Underreported Issue
When looking at the numbers associated with drowsy driving crashes, it’s important to remember that this is thought to be a widely underreported issue. We don’t have a “Breathalyzer” test for being sleepy behind the wheel, and unless somebody openly admits to falling asleep, dozing off or being an ineffective driver behind the wheel due to sleeplessness, we won’t truly know how widespread this epidemic is. Some researchers estimate that more than 8,000 deaths can be attributed to drowsy driving each year. This critical traffic safety issue is estimated to cause about $109 billion in societal harm and thousands of preventable deaths each year.
Central Coast Drowsy Driving Accidents
Reaction times, cognition and performance can all suffer when drivers aren’t well rested. Even if a sleepy driver does manage to stay awake behind the wheel, safety is greatly diminished by drowsiness. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in an accident involving a drowsy driver in San Diego, along with the Central Coast or in any of the surrounding communities, contact the skilled team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation.