There are many dangers on the Tennessee roads that can cause motor vehicle accidents. While drunk driving, recklessness, distracted driving and speeding are common causes of crashes, drowsy driving is also a problem. Understanding the facts about drowsy driving can be important when avoiding a crash.
Every year, there is a week dedicated to the prevention of drowsy driving. For 2020, it will be held during the first week of November. Researchers emphasize the dangers of drowsy driving. The National Sleep Foundation says that an estimated 50% of adult drivers across the nation say that they regularly drive when they are drowsy. In addition, 20% say they have fallen asleep while driving during the past year. More than 40% say that they fell asleep behind the wheel at least once since they started driving.
Drowsy driving can hinder reaction time and the ability to maintain attention. Those who have not slept for more than 20 hours experience the same effect as those who are driving above the legal limit for alcohol in their system. If a person is driving drowsy, the chance of a collision is tripled. The National Traffic Safety Administration says that there are around 100,000 crashes reported to police in which drowsy driving was a factor. In the time period studied, these crashes led to at least 1,550 deaths and 71,000 people suffering injuries.
The numbers might be worse due to unreported instances of drowsy driving. There are around 328,000 such auto accidents each year according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. That study found there were around 6,400 fatalities in 109,000 accidents, which is 350% more than the number reported by the NTSA.
There are strategies to reduce drowsy driving such as using onboard technology, intervening with students who are prone to driving drowsy, getting sufficient sleep, checking medication labels for potential risks and helping workplaces be more vigilant. For those who are injured or have lost a loved one in a crash due to drowsy driving, having legal assistance may be critical to a lawsuit for compensation. A law firm experienced in motor vehicle accidents may be able to help.