An estimated 100,000 auto accidents yearly result from driving while fatigued, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These accidents claim over 800 lives annually and cause more than 50,000 injuries. However, the real number may be much higher, as it is difficult to determine whether a driver was drowsy during a crash.
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 328,000 drowsy driving crashes occur annually. That’s more than three times the police-reported number. The same study found that 109,000 of those drowsy driving crashes resulted in an injury, and about 6,400 were fatal. The researchers suggest the prevalence of drowsy driving fatalities is more than 350% greater than reported.
Although 60 percent of Americans admit that they have driven while drowsy in the past year, and 37 percent admit to falling asleep while driving, studies show that drowsy driving is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content of .10 percent, well over the legal limit.
If You Are a Passenger
If you are a passenger in a motor vehicle, you do not want to allow the driver to operate the vehicle while fatigued. To detect a sleepy driver, you should watch out for signs such as:
- Difficulty focusing
- Frequent Blinking
- Missing exits or traffic signs
- Yawning repeatedly
- Drifting from the lane
- Hitting the shoulder rumble strip
If you cannot take over driving duties, try to convince the driver to pull over and rest in order to avoid a devastating car accident.
Sharing the Road with a Fatigued Driver
While driving, you should pay attention to the other drivers around you to look for signs of recklessness, including drowsy driving. If someone near you is sleepy while driving, you may notice many of the above signs.
If you notice this dangerous driving, you should call law enforcement officials to inform them of this potential danger.
Sadly, most people do not notice a drowsy driver until it is too late. Driving while fatigued is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, and it should not be tolerated.
The Genthe Guarantee Gets You Through Your Toughest Moments
At Genthe Law Firm, we are Dallas personal injury lawyers that believe in safety first. Should the unexpected happen and you believe you have been in an accident due to fatigued driving, reach out to one of our experienced attorneys today. As always, the consultation is complimentary. Contact us today to discuss your case.