Drowsy drivers are a leading cause of accidents and the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine’s recent study shows that drowsy drivers are becoming as dangerous as drunk drivers.
Drowsiness reduces a driver’s ability to react to road conditions and make accurate decisions while operating a motor vehicle. AAA estimates that roughly 328,000 accidents every year are directly linked to drowsy driving. Those most at risk for being involved in these accidents are younger drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 who don’t have the experience to recognize when they’re too tired to drive.
“Drowsy driving is one of the most preventable causes of accidents. Drivers should learn to recognize the symptoms. These include increased yawning, distracted thoughts, and eyes that begin to droop. When drivers start to feel tired, they should pull over and rest before continuing on their journey,” commented Reno car accident attorney Matthew L. Sharp.
Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel in Nevada can be charged with failure to maintain lane, failure to obey traffic control devices, and careless driving. If the accident leads to a fatality, the driver may also be charged with manslaughter.
“According to MADD, alcohol is the cause of 30% of traffic fatalities. By comparison, AAA estimates that 20% of all accidents are caused by drowsy drivers. This means that roughly 1/2 of all accidents can be attributed to these two causes,” remarked Reno car accident attorney Matthew L. Sharp.
The AAA survey has shown that 43% of drivers nationwide admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel at least once. This statistic is a wake-up call that shouldn’t be ignored. Drivers should pay careful attention to their ability to drive and heed their body’s warnings that tell them they are too tired to continue. Doing so is the best way to prevent an otherwise preventable accident from occurring.