If you were asked to name the riskiest behaviors drivers can engage in, being sleepy probably doesn’t top your list. Drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding often take top billing in serious crashes around the country, but drowsy driving can be just as dangerous and even more common.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has pinned over 72,000 accidents per year on drowsy driving, and over 1,000 deaths occurred as a result of these crashes. What’s even more shocking, however, is that NHTSA has estimated that these numbers are only a fraction of the accidents actually related to drowsy driving, since many occur without being linked to drowsiness, which can be difficult to detect.
A Profile of Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving
While no two accidents are exactly alike, accidents caused by a tired driver usually share several characteristics. NHTSA studies have shown that these crashes are usually very serious since, similar to drunk driving crashes, the driver is often unable to do anything to prevent crashing. Typically in a drowsy driving accident, the driver is the only occupant in the vehicle and it involves a highway or other high-speed road.
While drowsy drivers are often fortunate enough to avoid injuring others, there are still cases of an overtired motorist causing a wreck that involves one or even several other cars. Since there is no roadside test for fatigue, and being tired is perfectly legal, it can be a very frustrating experience for those individuals who have been hurt by a drowsy driver.
Unlike commercial drivers, regular folks driving around are not bound by rest rules and time limits for driving. This means that the people you regularly share the road with may be driving on very little sleep, or have been driving far longer than is wise or healthy. Some may be feeling ill, and others may be coming back from working a strange shift. There’s no way to ban it, because there is no way to detect or measure fatigue.
Have you been injured in a wreck caused by an overtired or drowsy driver? Augusta accident attorney Chris Hudson can help. Call or click on the live chat link today to schedule your free consultation, and learn more about the compensation that you may be owed.