Drowsy Driving Accidents [VIDEO]
Drowsy Driving and Car Accidents
It has happened to all of us, a night spent tossing and turning, up and down, a hot cup of coffee and out the door for work with very little rest or sleep. Just another day in your life right? Wrong. Getting behind the wheel while yawning and drowsy can be just as dangerous as being behind the wheel and being drunk. In fact, even missing just an hour or two of your regular sleep habit could lead to catastrophic results.
In twenty percent of all fatality crashes, drowsy driving is the cause. “Drivers who skimp on the seven hours of sleep experts recommend increase their risk of a crash exponentially. Missing one to two hours of sleep doubles a driver’s crash risk while foregoing two or three hours increases the risk of a crash by 400 percent. Those who sleep for less than four hours in a 24-hour period are 11.5 times likelier to crash,” according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study.
In a recent poll, 60% of Americans – about 170 million people – say that they have driven a car while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than one-third (37% or 103 million people), have actually fallen asleep at the wheel. Four percent – approximately eleven million drivers – admit that they have had an accident or near accident, because they dozed off or were too tired to drive.
Drowsy Driver In Action:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently estimated that 100,000 police-related crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue. According to the NHTSA, out of this 100,000, 1550 of these accidents resulted in fatalities 71,000 injuries and over 12 billion in monetary losses. Unfortunately, there is no form of roadside test for “drowsiness” that can be conducted by police officers like there is for alcohol such as the “breathalyzer.”
Drowsy driving crashes can result in high personal and economic costs. Several drowsy driving incidents have resulted in jail sentences for the driver. Multi-million dollar settlements have been awarded to families of crash victims as a result of lawsuits filed against individuals as well as businesses whose employees were involved in drowsy driving crashes.
How To Combat Drowsy Driving:
So what is the answer? How do you combat drowsy driving and avoid a potentially fatal accident?
- AAA recommends that you simply take a break every two hours or 100 miles.
- Taking a brief walk, and stretching at a rest-stop or well lite area is a great way to wake up the body and get your blood flowing.
- Stop and grab a cup of coffee. Caffeine is a great boost but it takes 30 minutes to kick in.
- Roll down your windows, the colder the better.
- Do not crank up the heater. The last thing you want is to get it all warm and cozy inside.
- Travel with a copilot or passenger to help keep you awake or even share the driving responsibilities is a good idea.
- Another way to combat drowsy driving is to avoid any and all medications that may cause drowsiness.
- Pull off the road, lock your doors and take a nap.
If you witness a drowsy driver in action you should report them to 911 immediately. Good luck, and be safe.
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