Recently, in support of its designation of November 10-17 as National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety (“AAA”) released the results of a survey of drivers across the country regarding their perspective on on drowsy driving, as part of National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week (Nov 10-16). According to AAA, the goal of the survey is to “foster a social climate in which traffic safety is highly valued and rigorously pursued. The results of the survey show that, although most drivers condemned drowsy driving, more than a quarter admitted to doing it anyway.
Almost all the individuals surveyed, (94.9%) stated their belief that it was somewhat or completely unacceptable to drive when so sleepy they have trouble keeping their eyes open. 82.9% of respondents felt that drowsy drivers pose a somewhat or very serious threat to personal safety
The numbers compiled by AAA demonstrate the severity of the drowsy driving problem in America. According to AAA statistics, 16.5% of fatal crashes, 13.1% of crashes resulting in hospitalization, and 7% of crashes in which a passenger vehicle is towed involved a drowsy driver.
Shockingly, approximately two of every five drivers (41%) admitted to “falling asleep or nodding off” while driving at least once in their lifetime and more than one in ten (11%) admitted to having done so within the past year. 28.3% of those surveyed admitted to having driven when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open in the past 30 days.
Younger motorists, those between 19 and 24, were most likely to admit to drowsy driving, as almost a third (32.9%) reported doing so in the previous 30 days, and
23.6% confessing it had happened more than once.
In order to combat drowsy driving and raise awareness of the risks it can pose, AAA has published a list of warning signs of drowsiness that motorists can be on the lookout for to signal it’s time for them to get off the road. Such signs include:
- Rubbing eyes and struggling to keep them open and focused, and/or having heavy eyelids;
- Repeated yawning;
- Difficulty keeping head up;
- Drifting from in lanes, swerving, tailgating, and/or hitting rumble strips;
- Missing traffic signs or intended exit, and/or struggling to remember the last few miles driven;
- Feeling irritable or restless.
Similar to intoxication, drowsiness can result slowed reaction times, decreased alertness and attentiveness, and processing of information. Because of the impairment that drowsiness can have on a person’s ability to properly operate a motor vehicle, driving in such a condition is careless, reckless, and potentially negligent.
If you, your family or friends have been involved an accident in which you sustained injuries, you may need legal representation to protect your right to compensation. The qualified motor vehicle accident attorneys of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. have extensive experience representing individuals who have been injured by negligent drivers. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, contact the attorneys of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. today.