The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently conducted a study on the effects of fatigued driving and found that roughly five percent of surveyed drivers admitted that they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once over the last month.
Many experts believe that this number may even be higher because a 2005 study, conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, revealed that a third of all drivers say that they’ve dozed off behind the wheel in the last year. More than 10 percent of them say that they do it regularly, at least once a month, according to Automotive Industry Today.
Unfortunately the number of car accidents in Stuart, Palm City, Fort Pierce and elsewhere can never truly be measured because there’s no guarantee that a driver will admit to officers that they were in fact fatigued at the time of the accident.
Our car accident attorneys in Vero Beach, Davie and Margate understand the frequency of distracted driving accidents. Unfortunately, many drivers are not able to recognize signs concluding that a driver is in fact drowsy at the wheel. These drivers pose serious threats to innocent drivers on our roadways.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are at least 100,000 car accidents that are believed to be caused by a fatigued driver every year. These accidents are believed to kill about 1,550 people and injure another 71,000. The NHTSA estimated that these accidents result in roughly $12.5 billion in monetary losses each year. Some studies suggest that drowsy driving may be a factor in as many as one in four accidents.
Unfortunately, many drivers think that there are quick fixes to wake up a fatigued driver. Many think that a shot of caffeine, some loud music or opening the windows will do the trick. The only problem with these theories is that they’re temporary fixes. Pushing through a feeling of drowsiness behind the wheel might be one of the worst and most dangerous things a driver can do behind the wheel.
To stay awake at the wheel, you should make sure you’re well rested before you head out on the road. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that drivers who get six to seven hours of sleep each night are just about twice as likely to get into an accident as a driver who regularly gets eight hours of sleep or more each night.
You should also allow yourself some breaks. You’re urged to stop, take a break from driving and rest every three hours of consecutive driving time. If you feel sleepy at the wheel before three hours is up, you’re urged to switch with a passenger or to simply pull over and get some rest.
Drowsy driving accidents are preventable if the proper safety measures are taken before and during a trip in the car. Don’t let being tired land you or another motorist in the hospital.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Hollywood, Margate or Port St. Lucie, contact the car accident attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC, for a free consultation to discuss your claim. Call 1-800-561-7777 to make an appointment today.
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