New Study Reveals the Dangers of Drowsy Driving
A new study by the American Automobile Association's (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety
reveals that the dangers of drowsy driving are higher than originally reported, and may lead to accidents
AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety's Annual Traffic Safety Culture Index found that more than one-third of drivers admit to having fallen asleep while behind the wheel in the past year.
Even more disturbing is the report's discovery that an estimated 21 percent of fatal crashes and 6 percent of all crashes involve drowsy drivers
. This is significantly higher than the official government statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which found that drowsy driving causes approximately 1.4 percent of all crashes, 2.2 percent of crashes that cause an injury, and 2.5 percent of fatal crashes from 2005 to 2009.
In fact, the report found that drowsy driving has been an increasing cause of motor vehicle accidents over the years. In a previous version of the study, it was found that 17 percent of fatal crashes from 1999 to 2008 involved drowsy drivers, whereas the updated numbers from 2009 to 2013 found that 21 percent of fatal accidents involved a drowsy driver. Furthermore, the report found that drowsy drivers were involved in 6 percent of all crashes, 7 percent of crashes that resulted in an injury, and 13 percent of those that resulted in a trip to the hospital. This means that an average of 328,000 motor vehicle crashes every year involve a drowsy driver: 109,000 of these accidents resulted in someone getting hurt and 6,400 in someone getting killed.
Difficulties with Drowsy Driving
These numbers are startling but should also be viewed with some trepidation. It is hard to define exactly what constitutes drowsy driving for the purposes of accurate reporting. Often drivers do not fully remember or realize that they were drowsy, fatigued, and/or falling asleep. It has also been found that drivers are more willing to admit they were falling asleep at the wheel rather causing an accident for other reasons, such as distracted driving (i.e. texting).
However this does not mean the study's results, which show that 21 percent of fatal accidents are caused by drowsy driving, are in fact too outrageous. A substantial number of car crashes were excluded from the report's analysis due to missing data on the severity of the accidents' injuries—a requirement for this particular report by the AAA.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys
If you are in an accident, contact one of our experienced DuPage County car accident attorneys
. We will investigate the circumstances to discover if the other driver was drowsy at the time of the accident. Reach out to the Mevorah Law Offices LLC for a consultation.