Drowsy Drivers - 1 in 24 Admit Falling Asleep While Driving

January 20, 2013 | Category: Automobile Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents | Share

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in its January, 2013 Weekly Release, 1 in 24 have admitted falling asleep while driving - at least 4% of those surveyed admitted falling asleep while driving during the last month. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in their recent study found that 2 out of every 5 drivers interviewed admitted to falling asleep at some point behind the wheel.   

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 1 in 6 fatal crashes are the result of drowsy driving.  

"Before driving make sure to have a "good night's sleep", make frequent stops, travel with an awake companion on long trips, avoid alcohol or sleep-promoting medications, and stop driving if you become sleepy. " says Attorney Randall Spivey, Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.   

DrowsyDriving.org has some statistics, risk factors and signs of "driving while drowsy": Driving Drowsy is Deadly

  • 100,000 crashes each year are caused by fatigued drivers leaving 71,000 people injured and 1500 dead.
  • 55% of drowsy driving crashes are caused by drivers less than 25 years old.
  • Being awake for 18 hours is equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, which is legally drunk and leaves a person at equal risk for a crash.
  • Most crashes or near misses occur between 4:00 – 6:00 a.m.; midnight – 2:00 a.m. and 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. are also peak times for crashes to occur. Nearly one-quarter of adults (23%) say they know someone personally who has crashed due to falling asleep at the wheel.

 

          Risk Factors

  • Sleep-deprived or fatigue (6 hours of sleep or less triples your risk.)
  • Suffering from sleep loss (insomnia), poor quality sleep, or a sleep debt.
  • Driving long distances without proper rest breaks.
  • Driving through the night, mid-afternoon or when you would normally be asleep.
  • Taking sedating medications (antidepressants, cold tablets, antihistamines).
  • Working more than 60 hours a week (increases your risk by 40%.).
  • Working more than one job and your main job involves shift work.
  • Drinking even small amounts of alcohol.
  • Driving alone or on a long, rural, dark or boring road.

 

          Signs of "driving while drowsy"

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking or heavy eyelids.
  • Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts.
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs.
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes.
  • Trouble keeping your head up.
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble stip.
  • Feeling restless or irritable.

 

The Miami Herald reports that Dr. Gregory Belenky, Director of Washing State University's Sleep and Performance Research Center in Spokane, Washington confirms, "A lot of people are getting insufficient sleep."

Anne Weaton of the CDC notes, "Even a brief moment nodding off can be extremely dangerous.  At 60 mph, a single second, translates to speeding along for 88 feet - the length of two school buses."

 

Auto Accident Attorney Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,500 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the 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 Randall@SpiveyLaw.com.  Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.

 

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