Drowsy driving occurs when drivers operate their vehicles under extreme tiredness. According to a new study released by the American Automobile Association (AAA), drowsy driving is a factor in 10 percent of all car accidents. Previous federal studies estimated that drowsy driving occurred in a mere two percent of all crashes.
The AAA drowsy driving study researchers examined footage from over 700 car accidents to see if signs of drowsy driving were present during the three minutes prior to the car collision. Indicators of drowsy driving included:
- Extended periods of inability to keep eyes open
- Inability to remember details about road conditions for the last few miles driven
- Erratic driving patterns such as drifting into other lanes
After examining crash footage, the AAA Study concluded that drowsy driving was a factor in 9.5 percent of all car crashes. In car crashes resulting in significant property damage, drowsiness was a factor in 10.8 percent of all crashes. Researchers hope that the study will encourage more identification of the drowsy driving problem, which has often been underreported as a factor in car accidents.
Ways to Avoid Drowsy Driving
One of the crucial steps in eliminating drowsy driving is to recognize the significance of the problem. Many drivers fail to admit that drowsiness was a factor as their mental state immediately following an accident is often one of hyper alertness. Since lack of sleep is a major contributor to drowsy driving, drivers should make sure they are obtaining seven to eight hours of sleep per night. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 35 percent of drivers receive less than the recommended seven hours of sleep.
Drivers who are taking medications should also be sure that drowsiness is not a side effect before operating a vehicle. To help prevent drowsy driving, drivers should aim to take consistent breaks while driving. Taking short naps at rest stops can also alleviate the effects of drowsy driving.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Assist Individuals Injured in Car Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident resulting from drowsy driving, compensation may be available. At McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, one of our experienced Delaware car accident lawyers can help you navigate the legal process to protect your rights as a car accident victim. Our office is conveniently located in Wilmington, Delaware to serve injured individuals and their families throughout the state, as well as in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule your confidential initial consultation at 302-888-1221 or submit an online inquiry form.