Drowsy driving is responsible for a high number of fatal accidents each year.

Why Fatigued Driving Is So Incredibly Dangerous

In recent years, public campaigns have focused heavily on two types of dangerous driving behaviors: drunk/drugged driving and distracted driving.  And with good reason: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is incredibly dangerous, and texting while driving (or any other form of distracted driving) can lead to serious, sometimes even fatal accidents.

Yet there is another form of dangerous driving that many Americans engage in on a daily basis, but is rarely talked about: fatigued or drowsy driving.  Driving while tired can be incredibly dangerous, and yet it is shockingly common.

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, approximately 5,000 people were killed in accidents involving tired drivers.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the cost of drowsy driving — excluding property loss — is $109 billion dollars each year.  That includes the cost of injuries, medical treatment, lost wages and more.

There are many reasons why people drive while tired.  A person might have a new baby at home, or have insomnia or another sleep disorder.  Perhaps a person works swing shifts, or has a cold and just didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Whatever the reason, we know that being overly exhausted can mimic the effects of being intoxicated. Most of us wouldn’t dream of getting behind the wheel of the car while drunk, but think nothing of heading off to work on a few hours of sleep and a cup of coffee.

So what can we do to reduce the risks of drowsy driving? One idea that may work is a public awareness campaign.  While they have not stopped distracted or drunk driving, these campaigns have reduced the incidence of both — and reduced the social acceptability of both behaviors.  Perhaps if it were more publicly known that driving while tired is dangerous, fewer people would be likely to engage in this behavior.

On a personal level, you should try to avoid driving while tired whenever possible.  In some cases, it there may be no choice but to drive when you didn’t get a good night’s sleep.  However, if you do have trouble sleeping and find yourself regularly driving while fatigued, consider talking to your doctor or a sleep specialist about options for getting a better night’s sleep.  It could be as simple as getting to bed earlier each night or turning off all electronic devices an hour before bedtime.

If you have been hurt in a car accident due to a drowsy driver or any other type of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.  At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, our attorneys are highly skilled at representing victims of all types of accidents.  Our team of car accident attorneys will aggressively pursue your rights so that you can get the best possible recovery and get your life back on track after your accident.  We offer free initial consultations, and we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.  Contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help you if a drowsy driver caused an accident.

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