Alertness is one of the essential characteristics a driver must have whenever he is behind the wheel: driving a car requires you to be mindful of your surroundings, something you can’t do properly when you’re tired or sleepy. With countless lives claimed and vehicles damaged due to drowsy drivers, safety advocates everywhere had wasted little time in underscoring the importance of staying alert while driving, after recent studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Automobile Association, Inc. were brought to light.
In the study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are over 100,000 crashes a year caused by drowsy driving, while DrowsyDriving.org estimates that it had caused over 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries each year. However, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the AAA had also found that instances of drowsy driving had been significantly underreported, with drowsy drivers having been involved in roughly 2.5 percent of fatal crashes recorded. The AAA believed that this discrepancy on drowsy driving is due to the fact that other motorists have either been unaware that their driving was impaired by fatigue or unwilling to admit their fatigue to investigators.
The presence of Daylight Saving Time appears to make matters worse, too, with studies pointing to an increase on the number of car accidents once the clocks begin to spring forth, causing a change in sleep patterns among drivers. To impress upon the importance of having proper rest before driving, NBC correspondent Jeff Rossen drove along an obstacle course at a driving school in Connecticut, first while well-rested, then when depriving himself of sleep for 30 hours. His first attempt went smoothly, without hitting any cones, yet it was on his second attempt, when he deprived himself of sleep, that he began hitting traffic cones (though he assured that he felt “fine” before driving).
Like Drunk Driving
Many lives have been claimed, while others have been put at risk, due to these drowsy drivers. Even doctors and medical experts have warned against nodding off while driving, for it could be equivalent to drunk driving. Victims would need the help of a Brooklyn personal injury attorney to go after drowsy drivers, who might not even be aware that they were fatigued in the first place.
Figuring in a car accident yourself is hard enough, and it warrants the help of a personal injury lawyer in Brooklyn, NY, such as those from the Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein as soon as possible.
(Source: Drowsy driving involved in 21 percent of fatal car accidents, AutoBlog)