A National Sleep Foundation poll found that almost 30 percent of Americans admit to nodding off behind the wheel, and over 50 percent admit to driving while drowsy. When someone falls asleep at the wheel, everyone on the road loses.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that driver fatigue results in 71,000 injuries, 1,550 deaths, 100,000 police-reported motor vehicle collisions, and $12.5 billion in financial losses on an annual basis. In 2011, Florida had 2,826 crashes that listed drowsy driving as the cause. Of that number, 21 people were killed and 2,393 suffered personal injuries.
It is entirely possible to prevent drowsy driving by recognizing the signs before getting behind the wheel of a car, truck or motorcycle. According to studies, drivers most at risk for driving while fatigued include:
- Young drivers, especially men under the age of 26
- Commercial truck drivers
- Drivers with sleep disorders – often undiagnosed or untreated
- Shift workers or others who work long hours
Florida’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week is in September. State promoters hope that awareness of the issue will reduce the vast number of car crashes caused by sleepy driving.
Source: Florida Department of Transportation, “Florida’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week – September 1-7, 2012”
Been injured in a auto accident by a drowsy driver? Call attorney Mike Hancock at 813-534-6319 to learn all damages you are entitled to recovery in Florida.