Drowsy Driving Can Cause North Carolina Car Accidents

November 11, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Driving while exhausted or sleepy can be quite dangerous. According to a new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, 41% of drivers surveyed have admitted to nodding off or falling asleep while operating a motor vehicle. Considering that, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16.5 % of deadly US crashes involved a drowsy driver, motorists need to take heed of the dangers and stop engaging in this bad driving behavior. In an attempt to raise awareness of these perils, November 8 to 14 is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

According to the AAA study, which surveyed 2,000 US residents by phone:
• Young drivers under age 25 are the ones most likely to fall asleep when operating a motor vehicle.
• In traffic crashes involving a drowsy driver, the motorist was 61% more likely to be male than female.
• 70% of drivers thought they were awake enough to operate a vehicle and then found it challenging to stay awake.
• More than 50% of traffic crashes involving a drowsy driver resulted in a motorist’s vehicle going off the road or drifting into another lane.

The NHTSA says that drivers that fall asleep while driving are responsible for approximately 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and more than 100,000 auto accidents in this country each year. Considering that it takes just a few seconds for a catastrophic traffic crash to occur, these figures are tragic but not surprising.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers know how devastating it can be to suffer life-altering injuries or lose someone you love because another motorist was careless, driving drunk, fell asleep at the wheel, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless, or made a driving mistake. We realize that most negligent motorists usually never intend to hurt anyone. That said, good intentions don’t matter when others are made to suffer tragic consequences. You may have grounds for a North Carolina injury case.

A drowsy driver is like a drunken driver in that reflexes can slow, focusing can become challenging, vision may blur, and judgment can become impaired. When a sleeping driver is manning a vehicle, he/she will likely not act to avoid becoming involved in an impending crash, which can make the impact of collision even worse.

Study shows drowsy drivers behind the wheel, Los Angeles Times, November 7, 2010

Study examines toll of drowsy driving, Washington Post, November 8, 2010

The AAA Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Report (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
Five drowsy driving myths you need to know, ABC Action News

National Sleep Foundation