Washington DC Personal Injury: Drowsy Driving Accountable for 17% of US Traffic Crashes

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 17% of deadly US traffic crashes involved drowsy driving. Yet, according to its recent study, 41% of those surveyed admit to having driven while drowsy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that falling asleep while driving accounts for 1,550 deaths a year—not to mention over 100,000 traffic crashes and 71,000 injuries.

A drowsy driver that causes a traffic crash that results in injuries or death can be held liable for Washington DC personal injury or wrongful death. One major problem is that many people don’t realize that driving while drowsy can be as dangerous as driving while drunk. Blurred vision, slowed reflexes, delayed reaction time, cloudy thinking, and the possibility of falling unconscious are symptoms that are used to describe both drunk drivers and drowsy drivers. Yet many people don’t realize the similarities and proceed to drive when exhausted.

Some of the AAA study’s findings:
• Drivers under the age of 25 are more likely than older drivers to fall asleep while driving.
• Women are less likely than men to fall asleep while operating a vehicle.

• Almost just as many people (approximately 26%) admitted to falling asleep between the hours of 12p and 5pm and the hours of 12a and 6a.

According to MySleepApnea.org:

• Although most people think they can tell when they are falling asleep, this is a myth. A drowsy driver can fall asleep, even if just for a few seconds, and not know it. Remember, it takes just a few seconds for a catastrophic Washington DC car accident to happen.

• Stimulants, such as coffee, cannot prevent you from nodding off if you are really tired.

• Even a safe driver can be a dangerous driver if he/she falls asleep while driving.

Study shows drowsy drivers behind the wheel, Los Angeles Times, November 7, 2010
Study examines toll of drowsy driving, The Washington Post, November 8, 2010

Drowsy Driving Report, AAA Foundation (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
Drowsy Driving, National Sleep Foundation

My Sleep Apnea

Maryland Accident Law Blog

Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog

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