Most traffic accidents are preventable and occur as a result of one of the three “D” type of crashes — distracted driving, drunk driving, and drowsy driving crashes. While much attention has been placed on drunk and distracted driving efforts in order to make motorists aware of the dangers associated with these behaviors, little attention has been placed on drowsy driving; however, this should be changing due to the federal government’s recent announcement.
During a speech at a safety conference, Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said, “While not everybody drinks or texts or speeds, lack of sleep is a problem we all face. And falling asleep at the wheel at 70 mph is a recipe for tragedy.” As a result, the federal government is going to increase their efforts in focusing on the dangers of drowsy driving so the public will learn just how dangerous it can be to drive while fatigued.
Driving Drowsy Can End in Lives Lost
According to previous information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), about 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries occur every year in roughly 100,000 drowsy driving-related accidents. However, more recent information from the National Transportation Safety Board estimates that about 1.2 million wrecks happen every year as a result of drowsy driving — causing an estimated 4,000 to 7,000 lost lives annually.
Because much attention hasn’t been placed on drowsy driving up until now, there is limited research about traffic deaths caused by drowsy driving, which could range anywhere from two to twenty percent. Since this new campaign is aimed at increasing public awareness of drowsy driving, the goal is to decrease fatal traffic accidents caused by fatigue.
Because lack of sleep can impair a person — much in the same way as alcohol does — as it slows one’s reactions, alters judgment, and decreases awareness, drivers need to never get behind the wheel of their cars sleepy. Also, if someone is driving and is having a hard time keeping his or her eyes open, it is best to pull off of the road and take a nap instead of continuing on down the road.
Because many people ignore their fatigue and get behind the wheel tired, many drowsy driving accidents in Florida and nationwide occur. If you have been injured by a careless driver, please contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 for a free consultation with a South Florida accident attorney today.