Recently, some attention has been paid to drowsy driving and truck drivers. The June 2014 New Jersey crash that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another passenger highlighted the dangers that can result when commercial drivers spend too much time behind the wheel. However, a new study says drowsy driving is a growing problem for all drivers and poses serious threats to everyone on the road.
How Serious Is Drowsy Driving?
Drivers may think getting behind the wheel a little tired is not a problem, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say drowsy driving is impaired driving. The CDC says drowsy driving:
- Slows reaction time
- Impairs judgment
- Impairs memory
- Slows ability to process information
A CDC study found that a person who drives after being awake for 18 hours exhibits similar performance as a person with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 percent. Drowsy driving has played a role in as many as 100,000 crashes this past year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2014, there were 846 deaths related to drowsy driving accidents.
A Problem on the Rise
Recently, the AAA Foundation for Public Safety conducted a study to examine the prevalence of drowsy driving. They state that drowsy driving has been a known factor in many accidents, but it receives much less attention than other traffic issues, such as drunk driving or distracted driving.
The study collected survey data from Americans ages 16 older in the summer of 2015, asking drivers to discuss their driving behavior in the 30 leading up to the study. Nearly a third of those surveyed reported having been so tired they could barely keep their eyes open while driving at least once. Additionally, 43 percent admitted to having fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in their lifetime.
Drowsy driving is dangerous for everyone on the road, and it isn’t just long-haul drivers who can grow weary behind the wheel. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a car accident due to a drowsy driver, you may be entitled to make a claim. Contact the experienced legal team at the Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm at (217) 394-5885 for a free, no-obligation consultation today.