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Auto Accidents Caused By Drowsy Driving

Drowsy drivers pose a serious threat to the lives of everyone else on the roads. What may seem like an innocent mistake is actually a form of negligence that can lead to the deaths of others. According to the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries, 1,550 fatalities, and $12.5 billion in damages are a result of drowsy drivers.

Unfortunately negligence by drowsy drivers is widespread. The National Sleep Foundation found that 60 percent of adult drivers have driven while drowsy within the past year and 37 percent of adult drivers have fallen fully asleep at the wheel. On top of that, 13 percent admit that they have fallen asleep while driving at least once per month and four percent have either been involved in an accident or had a near crash because they were drowsy or fully asleep behind the wheel.

Signs and Symptoms of Drowsy Driving

  • Restlessness or irritability;
  • Daydreaming or distracted or wandering thoughts;
  • Repeated yawning;
  • Rubbing eyes to keep them open;
  • Failure to remember the previous miles driven or remembering specific off ramps or turns taken;
  • Nodding or inability to keep one’s head up;
  • Drifting, hitting the center or side rumble strips;
  • Necessity to play loud music or drive with the window down for cold air; and
  • Inability to keep eyes focused.

If you notice any of these signs about yourself or another person who is driving, pull over to the side of the road immediately. Drowsy driving is not something that you can get over or cope with. It only takes a half second to cause a catastrophe that you or others will never be able to walk away from.

The National Sleep Foundation reports that the group most in danger of choosing to drive drowsy is 18-29 year old males. Men in general are twice as likely to fall asleep while driving than women.

Sleep and Work Habits are Large Factors in Drowsy Driving

A study carried out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that when compared to drivers in crashes unrelated to drowsy driving, those in sleep-related crashes were almost twice as likely to work at multiple jobs and that their primary employment was likely to involve non-standard work hours. Additionally, those who sleep just six to seven hours per night were twice as likely to cause a crash than those who slept eight or more hours. Those who slept less than five hours per night have an increased risk of being involved in a crash by four to five times and those who average less than five hours per night were seven times more likely to be involved in a crash. And, in an Australian study, people who were awake for 18 hours straight had an impaired driving ability compared to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.5 and at 24 hours the comparable BAC was 0.10 (the illegal limit in the U.S. is 0.08).

Contact a Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash due to another’s drowsy driving, giveColumbus, Ohio, car accident attorney Ed Schottenstein a call TODAY for legal council. Schottenstein Law Offices can be reached at (614) 467-8474.