Why Fatigue-Related Auto Accidents are On the Rise
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Jul 17, 2019 in Auto Accident
Fatigued-related car accidents are on the rise, even though driving while tired is extremely dangerous and more likely to cause bad accidents. National statistics show large numbers of drivers have been behind the wheel while they are tired and have even fallen asleep at the wheel at some point.
Below, you can learn more about drowsy driving crashes on the roads and why drowsy driving is like driving while being drunk. If you suffer an injury in a Portland car accident, our Portland auto accident lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation.
Statistics on Fatigued Driving
Here are some alarming statistics about fatigued driving from the National Safety Council (NSC) and the American Sleep Foundation:
- More than half of all adults in the U.S. admit to regularly driving when they feel drowsy
- 20 percent of U.S. adults admit they have fallen asleep while driving in the last year
- More than 40 percent of U.S. adults admit they have fallen asleep while driving at least once in the time they have been driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that every year, more than 100,000 accidents reported to the police are caused by drowsy driving. These 100,000 crashes result in more than 1,550 deaths each year and more than 71,000 injuries. These numbers could be much worse, but it is very difficult to determine if a driver was drowsy at the time of a crash.
It is estimated that these crashes cost Americans $109 billion annually and this number does not include damage to property.
Dangers of Fatigued Driving
Fatigued driving, also called drowsy driving, is a growing concern across the nation because there are more cars on the road. Drowsy driving is dangerous for some of the same reasons as drunk driving. Attempting to drive after not sleeping for more than 20 hours straight is almost like driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more, the legal limit for alcohol. Statistics show that you are three times more likely to be in an accident when you drive while tired.
According to the statistics from the NSC, fatigued driving affects:
- A driver’s awareness of nearby hazards
- The reaction time of the driver
- The ability of the driver to keep his or her attention on driving
Reducing the Risk of a Fatigue-Related Crash
Fatigue-related crashes are most likely to occur in the morning and in the evening. In the morning, the driver may still be tired from too little sleep the night before. In the evening, drivers are exhausted from being behind the wheel all day. If there is bad weather or you have to sit in traffic, you could become drowsy very quickly.
This is why it is so important to get enough sleep on a regular basis. The standard guidance on sleep is to get between seven and nine hours per night. You also need to be a defensive driver to protect yourself from tired drivers.
There are many other steps you can take to help prevent a drowsy driving accident that could lead to severe injuries or even death.
Injured in a Car Crash? Learn How You Can Recover Compensation
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident involving a tired driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney about your case. Contact our firm to schedule a free no-obligation consultation. We serve Portland, Gresham and Hillsboro, Oregon along with Vancouver, Washington.