According to the 2009 Sleep in America poll by the National Sleep Foundation, about 1.9 Million Drivers are involved in drowsy driving car crashes or near miss accidents each year. Unfortunately, many people underestimate the power sleepiness can have in causing Washington DC car accidents.
Per the poll, 105 million US drivers have driven while sleepy in the last year. 54 million drivers drive while drowsy at least once a month.
National Sleep Foundation chairman Thomas Balkin says that while motorists are good at recognizing when they are tired, this doesn’t stop them from getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and driving. Balkin says that people mistakenly think that they can will themselves to stay awake but they often don’t even realize that they are falling asleep. Balkin notes that just one moment of “reduced awareness” can cause a motor vehicle crash.
Drowsy driving slows reflexes, reduces alertness, and impairs one’s ability to think clearly and rapidly respond to an emergency situation. A person who is sleepy or very tired while driving might inadvertently lane change, let go of the steering wheel, fail to notice traffic signs, not see other vehicles or pedestrians, drive off the road, or drive into oncoming traffic.
Drowsy driving can be grounds for a Washington DC injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit if another person is injured as a result.
In an attempt to decrease the number of drowsy driving accidents, the National Sleep Foundation has declared November 2 – 8 Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.
Ways to Avoid Drowsy Driving:
• Get a good night’s driving.
• Take periodic brakes (every 2 hours or every 100 miles).
• Don’t drink alcohol or take medications that cause drowsiness before driving.
• If necessary, stop and take a nap.
• Take caffeine if necessary.
.9 Million Drivers Have Fatigue-Related Car Crashes or Near Misses Each Year, Reuters, October 29, 2009
Drowsy Driving: Reduce Your Risk of Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel, Associated Content, June 27, 2006
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