Massachusetts drivers know that there are inherent dangers when heading out on the road. That includes distracted drivers, drunk drivers and people who are reckless or negligent. Another issue that can cause a car accident is a drowsy driver. While this is a worrisome problem, its scope might have been underplayed. According to a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, it is possible that drowsy driving can be up to eight times more prevalent than previously thought. Those who have been in an auto accident should be cognizant of these statistics to determine if a drowsy driver led to the crash.
In this study, AAA examined dashboard videos from 700 motor vehicle accidents. It determined that drowsy driving was a factor in 9.5 percent of them. It was also a factor in 10.8 percent of serious incidents. This contradicts federal studies that show drowsy driving to be an issue in 1 to 2 percent of accidents. If AAA is accurate in its estimates, drowsy driving can be as dangerous as distracted driving. With the Centers for Disease Control stating that less than one-third of American drivers get enough sleep — less than seven hours — this is an issue that must be addressed.
AAA issued a study in December of 2016, saying that drivers become more dangerous the less sleep they get. Without the customary seven hours of sleep, drivers can be as dangerous as drunk drivers. Age and gender are not factors in drowsy driving. More than half of those who were in a drowsy driving accident were between the ages of 16 and 24. Seventy percent happened during the day. Although drivers said they knew the dangers of drowsy driving, around one in three said they drove drowsy at least once in the previous month.
For people who are in a car accident, the aftermath can lead to drastic life changes. Medical bills can be exorbitant, the lost time at work can make financial difficulties exponentially worse, people can need extensive help to function each day, and more. If there is a fatality, the family left behind will face the emotional and personal turmoil that comes with an untimely death. If the accident happened because of a drowsy driver, this can be a key factor in a legal filing to be compensated. Having assistance from an attorney who understands all the different possible causes of a car accident can be imperative for the investigation and is the first call that should be made for advice and help.
Source: nbcnews.com, “Drowsy driving is eight times more prevalent than government data suggests, says AAA,” Paul A. Eisenstein, Feb. 8, 2018