Researchers look at ways to prevent drowsy driving and reduce accidents
A drowsy driver doesn’t have to fall asleep at the wheel to cause a car accident. Some drivers are awake but so fatigued they lose their ability to judge what’s happening on the road ahead of them. The result can be disastrous. Hundreds of people die and tens of thousands are injured each year because of driver fatigue, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Recognizing the problem of fatigued driving, authors of an article in Sleep Review, a magazine for sleep specialists, joined with the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) to develop an interactive and educational website called Stop Drowsy Driving. In addition, they launched a social media drowsy driving prevention campaign. Sleep Review reported that Facebook posts linked to the campaign reached more than 17,000 people across the country.
People who visit the website can take a sleepiness quiz to gauge their sleep habits and determine how likely they are to fall asleep behind the wheel. Users can also discover ways to change their habits to avoid the risk of causing a fatigued driving accident.
Who is likely to fall asleep behind the wheel?
Fatigue can have a potentially deadly effect on a driver who may have any of the following reactions:
- Reduced reaction time
- Diminished attention
- Loss of critical decision-making skills
Are you at risk? Sleep Review identified the following groups as being at risk of causing a drowsy driving accident:
- Young men under 25 years old
- People with undiagnosed sleep disorders
- Shift workers
- Commercial drivers, including truck and bus drivers
- People who are sleep-deprived, including new parents or caregivers of infants and young children
How a lawyer can help after a car wreck
We applaud efforts to reduce drowsy driving, such as the social media campaign detailed by Sleep Review. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. According to the National Safety Council, driving after being awake for 20 hours is the equivalent of operating with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent, which is the legal limit in the United States.
If you were involved in an accident with a drowsy driver, you may be facing serious or life-threatening injuries. You may have lost a loved one in a tired driver accident. The process can be difficult. Medical bills can pile up. The insurance company for the at-fault driver might deny the accident was caused by fatigue.
That’s why you need an aggressive and knowledgeable attorney at your side. With locations in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Recht Law Offices can fight for you and help you build a solid case to obtain the compensation you need. Contact us today for a free consultation.