Skip to Content

Driver Fatigue Is a Recipe for Disaster

October 30, 2020 | Category: Automobile Accidents | Share

Florida Accident Lawyer Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. says the firm’s Fort Myers car accident lawyers have seen the devastation caused to families and friends by drowsy-driving accidents. 

Being over-worked and over-tired is the norm for many drivers on U.S. roadways; a good night’s sleep is a necessity to prevent the effects of fatigue, according to Fort Myers accident lawyers.

Driver Fatigue is a Recipe for Disaster - Spivey LawThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 795 people died in 2017 because of drowsy driving. The negative outcomes may be the same regardless of why sleep deprivation occurs.  

The number of drowsy-driving crashes, injuries, and fatalities is difficult to nail down. Even though crash investigators can look for clues that drowsiness contributed to a crash, the clues are not always identifiable or conclusive, according to the NHTSA. “NHTSA’s census of fatal crashes and estimate of traffic-related crashes and injuries rely on the police and hospital reports to determine the incidence of drowsy-driving crashes. NHTSA estimates that in 2017, 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. These crashes led to an estimated 50,000 people injured and nearly 800 deaths. But there is broad agreement across the traffic safety, sleep science, and public health communities that this is an underestimate of the impact of drowsy driving.”

The National Safety Council’s (NSC’s) research shows:

  • You are three times more likely to be in a car crash if you are fatigued.
  • Losing even two hours of sleep is similar to the effect of having three beers.
  • Being awake for more than 20 hours is the equivalent of being legally drunk.

The National Health Interview Survey reports that adults need an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night; however, 30 percent report averaging less than 6 hours.

The survey further reported: 

  • Chronic sleep-deprivation causes depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses.
  • Fatigue is estimated to cost employers $136 billion a year in health-related lost productivity.
  • More than 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. 

A National Sleep Foundation poll showed that nearly 30 percent of American drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel, and more than half said they have driven while drowsy. 

During September Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, Florida honored Ronshay Dugans, an 8-year-old Tallahassee girl who died when a drowsy driver plowed into a van in which she was a passenger. It is the hope that by sharing Ronshay’s story, everyone will learn more about the dangers of drowsy driving. 

The Florida Department of Transportation reports the following: 

Risks for Drowsy-Driving Crashes

  • Sleep Loss
  • Driving Patterns
  • The Use of Sedating Medications
  • Untreated Sleep Disorders: Sleep Apnea Syndrome and Narcolepsy
  • Consumption of Alcohol Interacts With Sleepiness To Increase Drowsiness and Impairment
  • Interactions Among Factors Increase Overall Risk

Who's most at risk?

  • Young people, especially males under age 26.
  • Shift workers and people with long work hours.
  • Commercial and long-haul drivers. About 15 percent of all heavy truck crashes involve fatigue.
  • People with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders are seven times more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Business travelers who spend many hours driving or may be jet-lagged. 

“If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, please contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. after seeking medical attention. We are available 24/7. There are no costs or fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you,” said Fort Myers Accident Lawyer Randall Spivey.


Fort Myers Accident Lawyer Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact  Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.


Contact Us


Spivey Law Firm Logo Spivey Law Firm 13400 Parker Commons Blvd.
Fort Myers, Florida 33912

(239) 337-7483

Free Consultation