Last week was National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week (November 1-8, 2015), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hosted a forum to launch a new drowsy-driving initiative. Experts from the fields of sleep science, traffic safety and public health joined together to share information on the dangers of drowsy driving and increase awareness about the nationwide problem. While drowsy driving may not sound as dangerous as distracted or impaired driving, consider that tired drivers are not only at risk for falling asleep behind the wheel, but they also have slower reaction times than drivers who aren’t drowsy.
Drowsy Driving by The Numbers
- Each year, an estimated 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue.
- Those crashes result in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
- 60 percent of adult drivers surveyed (about 168 million people) say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year.
- More than one third (37 percent) have actually fallen asleep at the wheel.
- Of those who nodded off behind the wheel, 13 percent say they have done so at least once a month.
Who is at Risk for Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel?
Anybody who is not getting adequate sleep is at risk for drowsy driving and potentially falling asleep behind the wheel. Young people, especially males under the age of 26, shift workers, commercial drivers and people with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders are at an increased risk for drowsy driving. The two major risk factors for having a crash due to drowsy driving are the time of day, during evening or nighttime hours, and drivers who are excessively sleepy due to lifestyle factors or health reasons.
Drowsy Drivers in Asheville
Car accidents involving drowsy driving aren’t always immediately apparent. After any kind of car accident, it’s a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case, especially if you suspect drowsy or distracted driving could have been a factor. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a crash involving a drowsy driver in Asheville or the surrounding communities, contact the skilled team at Davis Law Group, P.A. at 888-773-8388 for a free case consultation.