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Drowsy Driving Blamed for 21 Percent of All Fatal Crashes

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois car crash attorney, wrongful death, Illinois personal injury lawyer,It is common for drivers to exercise extra precaution and designate a driver when alcohol has been consumed to avoid drunk driving, but drivers should also be aware of the dangers of driving while drowsy to prevent accidents as well.

In a report published by CBS Local in Philadelphia, survey results of over 14,000 car crashes from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety over the past five years identified 21 percent of fatal collisions were caused by drowsy driving. According to the AAA Foundation, it is twice as likely for people who sleep six to seven hours per night to be involved in a drowsy driving accident than those who sleep eight hours or more. People driving on less than five hours of sleep increase their risk up to four to five times more.

It only takes falling asleep at the wheel for a second to become a hazard on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports more than 100,000 drowsy driving accidents occur every year, leading to 40,000 injuries and over 1,500 fatalities. There are several factors that lead to motorists being too fatigued to drive including:

  • loss of sleep;
  • use of sedatives;
  • untreated sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy; and
  • increased drowsiness due to alcohol consumption.

It has been reported that shift workers, including commercial truck drivers, fall into the category of drivers at the highest risk of being involved in a drowsy driving accident.

The NHTSA suggests improved education about the dangers of drowsy driving and what can be done to avoid it. Although prevention tactics such as road shoulder rumble strips help reduce off-the-road crashes by 30 to 50 percent, adequate sleep is the best solution for those driving while fatigued.

Falling asleep at the wheel leads to motor vehicle accidents that can cause serious injuries and in certain instances, prove to be fatal. Every driver has a responsibility on the road to follow safety guidelines and take proper precautions regarding sleeping patterns. Negligence of these regulations calls for driver accountability.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of a drowsy driving accident in Illinois, contact an experienced Chicago car accident attorney today.
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