The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that approximately 100,000 motor vehicle accidents are related to driver fatigue every year. According to the NHTSA, more than 75 percent of these accidents result in injury and approximately 1.5 percent are fatal. Drowsy driving factors in one to two percent of all motor vehicle accidents annually.
However, a large-scale naturalistic driving study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests driver fatigue is much more common than previously believed and is under-reported. The AAA revealed drowsy driving plays a role in as many as 9.5 percent of all motor vehicle accidents –10.8 percent of those involving significant property damage, airbag deployment, or injury. This increases the number of suspected drowsy driving accidents from 100,000 to 328,000.
Am I Too Drowsy to Drive?
You have probably heard that adults need seven or more hours of sleep every night, but this is not a universal truth. The amount of sleep a person needs is influenced by diet, lifestyle, activity level, age, and other factors. It is essential to know how to assess your level of fatigue beyond the number of hours you have slept.
You are too tired to drive if you:
- Cannot keep your eyes open
- Have difficulty recalling the last few blocks or miles
- Are yawning frequently
- Do not feel rested
Drowsy driving is often erratic, reckless, and uncontrolled. If you find yourself engaging in dangerous behaviors or feel too sleepy to continue, it is vital that you get off the road.
Making sure you are alert and engaged while driving will help prevent you from causing an accident or becoming the victim of someone else’s. However, even the safest driving cannot guarantee protection against injury.
We are Here to Help
If you are injured or a loved one is injured or killed in an accident involving a drowsy driver, the attorneys at Johnson & Biscone are here to help. Call our Oklahoma City office at 405-232-6490 to schedule a complimentary case review where we can assess your claim, discuss your options, and help you choose the best path forward.