A recent groundbreaking study from the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that about 10 percent of all crashes involve drivers who are tired. Previous U.S. government statistics attribute only one to two percent of accidents to drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving accidents can cause devastating injuries, often forcing victims to undergo expensive medical treatment, lose wages while taking time off work to recover, and experience mental and physical pain and suffering.
Driving while fatigued is an underreported traffic safety issue, because it is difficult to detect. To learn more about the issue, AAA conducted the most in-depth research on drowsy driving ever conducted in the United States.
AAA’s study analyzed dashcam footage from 701 car crashes collected from a federally funded study that continuously monitored 3,593 drivers for several months. By observing how often drivers blinked during the three minutes leading up to the crashes, researchers were able to determine if the drivers were drowsy at the time of the crash.
The study concluded that drowsiness was a factor in 9.5 percent of all collisions and 10.8 percent of collisions resulting in serious property damage, airbag deployment or injury. These results are nearly eight times higher than federal estimates.
According to AAA, drowsy driving significantly increases the risk of an accident causing injuries or property damage. Drivers who slept less than seven hours the night before are at a much higher risk of being involved in an accident. This risk is equivalent to drivers who are under the influence of alcohol.
Drowsy driving also becomes a greater problem after dark. The proportion of drowsy driving accidents that occurred during nighttime hours was more than three times greater than accidents during daylight hours.
Knowing the symptoms of drowsiness can help drivers recognize the problem and take action to avoid collisions. Symptoms include:
You can prevent drowsy driving by following these safety tips:
The car accident attorneys at the Arnold Law Firm are committed to helping accident victims recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We will investigate your case, gather evidence to support your claim, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
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