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How dangerous is drowsy driving, really?

| Mar 29, 2017 | Car Accidents

The United States is a nation of tired people — many of whom are getting behind the wheel in a dangerously sleepy state.

In a series of studies from 2000 to 2005, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found even the best-available figures on sleep deprivation aren’t enough to paint a clear picture of how bad the problem may actually be for the nation’s drivers. However, even a quick glance at some of the statistics should be enough to alarm anybody who is on the road:

— A full 60 percent of adult drivers admit that they have driven while drowsy at least once in the last year

— One-third of those drivers have actually fallen asleep at the wheel, some as often as once a month

— Approximately 11 million drivers admit that they’ve either been in an accident or nearly been in one because they’ve fallen asleep at the wheel.

— Those who sleep six to seven figures hours per night are twice as likeight8 hours or more.

— Those who sleep less than five hours at night raise their risk of being in a sleep-related accident four to five times more than those sleeping eight hours a night.

In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) admits that no one knows exactly how bad the problem really is. What is known is that around 100,000 police-related crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue — and the economic damage exceeds $12 billion per year.

Accidents are likely more serious because there’s no ability for a sleeping driver to take evasive action or try to reduce the speed of impact. For example, one driver who recently fell asleep on Interstate 27 outside of Abernathy ended up causing a three-vehicle crash when his SUV rear-ended another SUV then crossed the median strip and hit a pickup going the opposite direction.

Those kinds of statistics and real-life accident accounts illustrate the seriousness of drowsy driving. If you’ve been the victim of a drowsy driver, an attorney can discuss your options for compensation.

Source: DrowsyDriving.org, “Facts and Stats,” accessed March 27, 2017

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