In many cities, rush hour can start long before the sun comes out. Working individuals often hit the snooze several times before rolling out of bed, getting dressed and hitting the road. It’s understandable then that a lot of early morning drivers may be sleepy as they navigate the roads on their way to work.
Beyond that, there are individuals who are perpetually tired. This may happen if they drive eighteen wheelers across the country or if they work a night shift. It could also be caused by a circumstance at home, such as the arrival of a new baby that keeps mom and dad up for hours during the night.
Statistics show that some 72,000 crashes occurred due to drowsy driving in 2013. Those accidents caused 44,000 injuries and 800 fatalities. The hard part about these statistics is that it shows only a portion of the actual incidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents in which drowsy driving is a factor are often underreported.
Besides just sleep loss, there are other factors that can lead to drowsy driving. Alcohol consumption can have a strong effect on drowsiness, making an already-tired individual even sleepier. A person’s driving pattern could also play a role. Some drivers may frequently drive at night while others may have to be on the road for an extended period of time. Another issue that may come into play is whether a driver is on medication. Some medications are sedating and may cause a driver to doze off. Finally, a driver may have an untreated sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.
While a lot of drowsy car accidents are just one-vehicle accidents with the driver being injured, many do involve other drivers. If a driver acted negligently by knowingly driving while drowsy, a car accident victim may decide to pursue compensation.
Statistics show that some 72,000 crashes occurred due to drowsy driving in 2013.
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