The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reminds drivers that drowsy driving is responsible for hundreds of deaths every single year. Experts predict this number is not accurate, as it is difficult to tell if an accident was the result of drowsy driving. As such, they expect the actual numbers are much higher. The agency predicts the actual numbers are closer to 100,000 drowsy-driving accidents and that these crashes injure 50,000 and lead to 800 fatalities.
The NHTSA further clarifies that it does not matter if the fatigue is the result of a lack of sleep or a monotonous drive, the outcome can be the same: a tragic crash.
How can I reduce the risk of a drowsy-driving accident?
If possible, avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m. The feds report that this time of day is when drowsy-driving accidents are most likely to occur. Also, make sure you get adequate sleep before driving and avoid drinking as the consumption of alcohol can increase drowsiness.
It is also important to check medications to see if drowsiness is a potential side effect.
If you do get sleepy while driving, consider a cup of coffee or a short nap. If still sleepy, try to reschedule the trip for a time when you are more rested.
What if I am in an accident and suspect the other driver was drowsy and caused the crash?
If you are in a crash and suspect that the other driver was fatigued and that this sleepiness contributed to the crash, you can likely hold the driver accountable for the cost of the accident through a personal injury lawsuit. State law requires drivers to operate their vehicle with care. You can hold those who do not and cause serious injury to others liable through a personal injury lawsuit.