Many Indiana residents do not get enough sleep each night. When fatigued drivers get behind the wheel, they pose a danger to others on the road. Drowsy drivers have slowed reaction times and can fall asleep while driving, potentially causing fatal accidents.
Prevalence of drowsy driving
The National Sleep Foundation reports that 50% of U.S. drivers admit that they sometimes get behind the wheel when they feel tired. Among the respondents, 40% admit that they have fallen asleep while driving at least once, and 20% admit that they have fallen asleep behind the wheel within the past 12 months. Drowsy driving can also be fatal. The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that an estimated 5,000 people lost their lives in drowsy driving accidents in 2015 alone.
How drowsy driving affects people
The impact of being drowsy while driving is similar to the effect of alcohol. Drowsy drivers are less likely to recognize hazards in time to react appropriately, and they also have trouble maintaining attention on the road. People who have been awake for 20 hours show similar impairment to those who drive while under the influence of alcohol. Fatigued people have a risk of causing an accident that is three times greater than those who are not tired.
More than 328,000 motor vehicle accidents each year are believed to be caused by drowsy drivers. People should make sure to get enough sleep each night to avoid feeling fatigued when they drive. Accident victims who believe that the other driver might have been drowsy might want to consult with experienced car accident lawyers for help in obtaining compensation for their losses.