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One in six Port St. Lucie car accidents linked to driver fatigue

For one South Florida doctor, talk of driving while drowsy strikes close to home. In a recent interview with CBS-4, the dermatologist admitted that during his residency he had, on occasion, driven despite being exhausted. He spoke of that “freak out” moment all too familiar to some drivers, when suddenly you snap out of a dead sleep and realize you are still behind the wheel.

Our St. Lucie car accident lawyers know that in today’s fast-paced world catching a regular eight hours of sleep is more a dream than a reality for most drivers. Yet few things are as important to good health as regular sleep. Persistent sleep deprivation has been linked to a host of chronic conditions from diabetes to obesity to heart disease. Now, a recent AAA Foundation survey reveals that a lack of sleep is also a significant contributor to car accidents.

Roughly 16 percent of fatal car accidents have been linked to driver fatigue, and drowsy driving is believed to be responsible for one in eight injury crashes. Such statistics are not surprising given that the survey also found that 25 percent of drivers admit to driving during the last month despite being barely able to keep their eyes open.

“Many of us tend to underestimate the negative effects associated with fatigue and sleep deprivation and, conversely, overestimate our abilities to overcome them while driving,” said Kathleen Marvaso, vice president, AAA Public Affairs. “Unfortunately, too many drivers have adopted the ‘I’m tired, but I can make it’ mentality, often to their own peril or to the peril of others.”

To avoid driving while drowsy and reduce the risk of being involved in a South Florida car accident, the AAA Foundation provides the following information for driver consideration:

~ Men are far more likely to be involved in drowsy driving car accidents than women.

~ Drivers traveling with passengers are 50 percent less likely to succumb to the effects of drowsy driving.

~ Daytime driving offers zero protection from incidence of drowsy driving. In fact, 26 percent of drivers surveyed said they fell asleep behind the wheel between noon and 5 p.m.

~ Younger drivers (aged 16-24) are more likely to fall asleep than older drivers.

~ Nearly 60 percent of drowsy driving car accidents are caused by a vehicle traveling off road or due to lane drifting.

~ Playing the radio louder, opening windows, and slapping yourself in the face are utterly ineffective remedies for combating driver fatigue.

The Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Freeman & Mallard have been successfully and aggressively representing car accident victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.

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