AAA Study Shows Drowsy Driving Hazard is Real
According to a new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, fully 28 percent of all drivers surveyed reported having been so tired while driving within the past month that they had a difficult time keeping their eyes open.
For example, that 28 percent of drivers apparently provides a lot of overlap, because as many as 95 percent of drivers believe it’s unacceptable to drive when they’re that tired and 83 percent believe drowsy drivers pose a threat to their own personal safety. That means many of the people who are driving while fatigued know it’s wrong to do so.
Drivers who are 19-24 years of age are most likely drive while fatigued. They tend to be less alert while driving than other age groups because of their tendency to get up early and go to sleep late. However, younger drivers, between 16 and 18 were actually among the least likely to drive while very tired. This could be because they are subject to a greater degree of control by their parents, but it is likely also because of the graduated license requirements in many states, which usually restrict their driving at night. Of course, those drivers who are 75 years and older drivers are the least likely to drive while drowsy, because they tend to modify their driving habits as their eyesight changes.
Drowsy driving poses a significant threat to all drivers because many of the symptoms associated with it are similar to those experienced while driving drunk. Falling asleep at the wheel is the most dangerous outcome, of course, and in many cases a driver may fall asleep for a few seconds while driving and have no idea it has happened. But even before that, reaction times are slowed and vision is impaired. In addition, being tired can cause lapses in judgment and lead to bad decision-making. Sleep-related crashes are all too often rear-end crashes.
Data from a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) backs up this study’s results. The CDC claims that 7,500, or about 25 percent, of all motor vehicle crashes, cite drowsy driving as a factor.
Driving while fatigued is a major problem on the roads today, whether the driver is operating a large truck for too many hours, or trying to drive his car an extra 100 miles to avoid paying for a hotel for a night. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a traffic accident, and you believe someone was overly tired at the time of the accident, please contact the Auto and Truck Accident Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, so that we can get to the bottom of it and protect your rights.