According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 100,000 police-reported accidents each year are directly attributable to driver fatigue. And this figure is almost certainly low because some states do not have coding for fatigue or driver fell asleep and if fatigue is combined with another factor, such as alcohol use, it does not get coded at all, etc. Unbelievably, 41% of drivers have reported actually falling asleep at the wheel, and one in every six fatal car crashes is related to a drowsy driver.
While anyone who is sleep-deprived is at risk for a crash, certain groups are at higher risk. Those groups include: (1) drivers who suffer with untreated sleep apnea syndrome; (2) shift workers who work at night or irregular hours; (3) young drivers (ages 16 to 29) especially males. And, as this trucker will tell you, truck drivers definitely work at night and keep irregular hours. So it is not surprising that the Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that 13 percent of Commercial Motor Vehicle drivers were fatigued at the time of a crash.
Some drivers will try to combat fatigue by drinking caffeine, rolling the window down, turning up the radio or other tricks. But, the U.S. Department of Transportation warns that such tricks are not an alternative for rest and can actually produce a false sense of security.
If you are drowsy, take a nap before getting behind the wheel or let someone else drive for a while so you can rest. If you don’t, you might wake up in the emergency room or you might hurt or kill someone else.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drowsy driver, contact one of our award-winning attorneys for a free consultation. Simply fill out this online form or call us at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787.