Drowsy Drivers Cause Injuries and Deaths on Tennessee Highways

Sleepy drivers pose a hazard on Tennessee roadways, not only to themselves put also to others using the roadway.  Drowsy drivers pose a risk to drivers of cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and even pedestrians on Tennessee roads.

Drowsy drivers cause 2.5% of fatal motor vehicle crashes and 2.0% of all crashes, according to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Techniques to stay awake while driving, such as turning up the radio, opening the window, and turning up the air conditioner, have not been found to be an effective way of preventing crashes.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) included a survey of drivers in 19 states and the District of Columbia.  In this study, 4.2% of drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving in the last 30 days.   Sleepy driving decreased with age.  The participating state with the highest percentage of people who admitted to falling asleep while driving was Texas (6.1%). Persons who reported snoring or usually sleeping ≤6 hours per day were more likely to report falling asleep while driving.

Tennessee was not included in the study, but there is no reason to believe that the numbers in Tennessee would be much different than those from other states.  A total of 1016 people died on Tennessee highways in 2012 (an increase of 79 death from number reported in 2011).  if the NHTSA numbers hold true in Tennessee, 25 of those deaths were caused as a result of drowsy drivers.

Warning signs of drowsy driving include frequent yawning or blinking, difficulty remembering the past few miles driven, missing exits, drifting from traffic lane, or hitting a rumble strip.  What should you do if you are having difficulty sleeping while driving?  Pull off the road in a safe place and rest until you are no longer drowsy.  The life you save may be your own.

 

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John Day is a Tennessee automobile accident lawyer with offices in Brentwood, Tennessee.  John’s four-lawyer law firm represents those who have suffered serious injuries in any type of automobile accident case.   Our law firm does not charge for an initial consultation and, if we are able to represent you,  we will accept representation on a contingent fee basis.   

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