According to a recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 35 percent of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel. This is a common danger that is overlooked by drivers, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).
The truth of the matter is that sleepiness of any degree by a driver slows reaction time, impairs judgment, decreases awareness and increases the risks for a car accident.
For this reason, officials in the state recently decided to dedicate an entire week to preventing this dangerous behavior. It’s Drowsy Driving Prevention week and it takes place from the 1st through the 7th of September. Governor Scott signed the formal proclamation for this awareness week to coincide with the Labor Day holiday, especially because this is such a heavily-traveled holiday with close to 3 percent of Floridians taking a long-weekend vacation during this time.
Our Lauderhill car accident lawyers understand that officials estimate that there are about 100,000 drowsy driving car accidents that happen in the United States each and every year. They go on to estimate that about 1,600 people die and another 70,000 are injured in these accidents. They’re awfully costly accidents too as officials with drowsydriving.org guess that they cost the country more than $12 billion annually.
During this week-long campaign, officials with the DHSMV will be teaming up with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), safe driving advocates and lawmakers statewide to help to spread the word about the dangers of drowsy driving.
“Being alert behind the wheel is critical to highway safety. Studies show the fatality rate is higher for crashes where a driver falls asleep,” said Julie L. Jones, the Executive Director of the DHSMV.
In many cases, drowsy driving can be as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than drunk driving.
Who is most at risk for drowsy driving?
-Drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 are most likely to drive while feeling the effects of drowsiness.
-Males are more likely than females to drive while drowsy.
-Men are about twice as likely to fall asleep behind the wheel as women.
-Drivers who have children are more likely to fall asleep than those who don’t.
-Drivers who are shift workers are more likely to fall asleep as drivers who have regular daytime work schedules.
-People who sleep six to seven hours every night are about twice as likely to get into a drowsy driving car accident as those who sleep 8 hours a night on a regular basis.
-If you’ve been awake for 18 consecutive hours, you’ve got the same reaction time behind the wheel as a driver who is legally drunk.
Before you get behind the wheel, make sure that you’re well rested. Never think that you can simply push through the effects of being drowsy. That may be one of the most dangerous and deadly mistakes you can make.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact the injury lawyers of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a free consultation to discuss your case. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Lack of Distracted Driving Law in Florida to Cost State Cash, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, August 29, 2012
Red-Light Camera Raking in Millions in Boynton Beach, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, August 20, 2012