According to a recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, the percentage of crashes involving drowsiness is eight times higher than federal estimates indicate.
Drowsy driving is often one of the most underreported traffic safety issues because of the difficulty in detecting drowsiness following a crash. The new research however provided unprecedented analysis of in-vehicle dashcam video from more than 700 accidents, which confirmed that drowsy driving far exceeded official estimates.
According to Jake Nelson, director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research for AAA, “As many Americans struggle to balance their busy schedules, missing a few hours of sleep each day can often seem harmless. But missing just two to three hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash, which is the equivalent of driving drunk.”
Using a scientific measure linking the percentage of time a person’s eyes are closed to their level of drowsiness, the researchers determined that 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of crashes resulting in significant property damage involved drowsiness. Federal estimates indicate drowsiness is a factor in only one to two percent of crashes.
Some of the warning signs to watch out for to keep you from dozing off from behind the wheel include:
• Having trouble keeping your eyes open
• Drifting across your lane
• Not remembering the last few miles driven
Coffee, energy drinks or other stimulants are not an antidote for drowsiness. These short-term tactics, just like rolling down your window, do not work. Ultimately, it’s up to you to get the necessary sleep your body needs in order to remain safe behind the wheel.
If you or someone you care about has been injured or involved in car accident in Naples, Florida, contact the Naples accident lawyers and Naples personal injury attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen at 239-793-3331, or visit fairnessforall, for an absolutely free and confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options.