Asleep at the Wheel? Drowsy Drivers Cause 10% of Accidents

We’re a sleep-deprived nation. The CDC reports that one out of three of us are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. It’s been long documented that the lack of sleep negatively impacts productivity on the job and health and wellbeing. Now a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also tells us that drowsy driving contributes to more accidents on the road than previously thought.

In fact, the report—which is the most in-depth drowsy driving research ever conducted in the U.S.—finds that driving accidents caused by drowsy driving are about eight times higher than federal estimates. Federal estimates had indicated drowsiness as a factor in only one to two percent of crashes; this new report reveals that nearly 10 percent of all crashes involved drowsiness.

“Drivers who don’t get enough sleep are putting everyone on the road at risk,” according to David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “By conducting an in-depth analysis using video of everyday drivers, we can now better assess if a driver was fatigued in the moments leading up to a crash.”

The AAA research utilized in-vehicle dashcam video from more than 700 crashes – such as the video embedded in this post.

A recent related study by the AAA Foundation shows 29 percent admit to driving when so tired they have a hard time keeping their eyes open at some point in the past month.

“As many Americans struggle to balance their busy schedules, missing a few hours of sleep each day can often seem harmless,” said Jake Nelson, director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research for AAA. “But missing just two to three hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash, which is the equivalent of driving drunk.”

Drowsy Driving Accidents in Wisconsin

Wisconsin law holds people who drive while drowsy responsible for injuries or deaths they cause – just like the law does for those who text or drink and cause harm. This means if you have been or become injured in a drowsy driving related accident, you may be compensated for any resulting lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.

However, unlike the drunken driver who has an illegal BAC or someone who’s texting and driving, it can be difficult to prove drowsiness. If you were in an accident that you suspect was caused by a drowsy driver, remember the details of your accident and what you saw before it happened. Write them down.

Signs to Consider in a Drowsy Driving Accident

Did the driver:

  • Ignore traffic signals or signs?
  • Frequently yawn and blink?
  • Repeatedly drive over the rumble strip at the side of the road?
  • Weave in and out of lanes?

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Involved in a Drowsy Driving Accident?

It can be challenge to know exactly what you should do after an accident, especially when you are still in shock. Many accident victims can make mistakes that may damage their claim, especially right after an accident, when the adrenaline is still pumping.

Here’s some things to keep in mind after any accident, including drowsy driving accidents:

•Do not speak to the other driver’s insurance company until you have talked to your own attorney.

  • Don’t provide any statements about the accident to the other driver’s insurance company.
  • Do talk to your attorney to discuss your options for recouping injury costs and damages.
  • Always seek medical attention first, no matter how slight your injuries may seem.
  • Keep documentation of your treatment so you can let your insurance company know about the accident.
  • Be sure to keep receipts of rental cars or hotel stays or any other expenses that are incurred as a result of the accident.

At Casey Law Offices, S.C., we focus exclusively on prosecuting injury claims to ensure negligent individuals and businesses are held responsible for irresponsible behavior resulting in injury so those who are harmed are fairly compensated. Our Wisconsin auto accident lawyers represent Wisconsinites who have suffered a variety of injuries, including those related to car accidents due to irresponsible drivers. We have the team and legal experience to ensure that you receive the justice and compensation that you deserve.

Contact our offices at (414) 272-5564 to schedule your complimentary case evaluation.

Related Posts
  • Winter Driving Safety Read More
  • What to Do When Involved in an Accident with a Semi-Truck Read More
  • What is a Black Box When it Comes to Semi-Trucks? Read More