We live in a society that seemingly never sleeps. Even if we got a bad night’s sleep, we are still expected to show up at work the next day and continue our other daily activities such as school drop-off, running errands and other tasks. This may mean that some people drive when they are really too tired to do so safely. This can lead to a drowsy driving accident.
The statistics on drowsy driving
The statistics on drowsy driving are startling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in 25 motorists stated they had fallen asleep at the wheel within the past 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2017 there were approximately 91,000 drowsy driving accidents. These accidents led to about 50,000 people injured and almost 800 fatalities. It is suspected, however, that these injuries and fatalities are greater than what is reported.
Who drives drowsy?
Certain sectors of people are more likely to drive when drowsy. First is anyone who does not get enough sleep at night. Semi-truck drivers often drive drowsy due to long hours on the road and incentives to reach their destinations as quickly as possible. Those who work night shifts or long shifts are more apt to drive drowsy. Finally, drivers with sleep disorders that are not being treated or who take medications that make a person sleepy tend to drive drowsy.
Drowsy driving and negligence
Drowsy driving can be considered a form of negligence. All motorists must drive in a manner that is safe and reasonable. Drowsy driving fails to uphold this duty — it is a breach of duty. If this breach causes a car accident that leads another party to suffer damages, the injured party may have grounds to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
To avoid this occurrence motorists should make sure they get enough sleep and if they find themselves dangerously drowsy, to pull over somewhere safe and rest until they are okay to drive again. Doing so could potentially prevent a serious auto accident and save lives.