Not many driving factors are able to be controlled. You can’t control the weather, the traffic or someone else’s driving but you can control the attention that you choose to pay to the road. As a driver, you can maintain the control over your actions and reactions and you have a duty to do so in a safe and reasonable manner.
The South Carolina injury law firm of Auger & Auger is quite familiar with the dangers of drowsy drivers, and the impact they can have on the other drivers and passengers on our South Carolina roads. By bringing awareness to the dangers of drowsy driving, we hope to encourage safer driving habits and prevent accidents related to this very dangerous and all too common driving habit.
General Info About Drowsy Driving
In November of 2010, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published an informative study on the impact and prevalence of drowsy driving. Their evaluation was based upon compiled statistical data from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) between 1999-2009, along with AAA’s survey of more than 2,000 U.S. drivers in 2010.
Their examination revealed extensive findings and insights aimed at decreasing drowsy driving accidents and fatalities. In this post, we’d like to pass along some of the standout statistics and precautionary advice we believe is beneficial for all drivers to know and consider.
The Truth about Drowsy Driving Accidents
Sometimes quotable facts make us take a stronger look at reality. The following stats are derived from the AAA study:
- Drowsy drivers are involved in 1 out of 6 fatal crashes, 1 in 8 collisions requiring hospitalization, and 1 in 14 wrecks requiring a vehicle to be towed!
- Drivers under 25 years of age are twice as likely to be involved in a drowsy driving crash than are drivers 40 to 60 years old.
- 57% percent of drowsy driving crashes result from the driver drifting into another lane – or off the road entirely!
Astounding Drowsy Driver Survey Responses!
The following responses are summarized from the 2010 AAA survey:
- 41% of the participants admitted to having fallen asleep (or nodded off) at the wheel at least one time in their lives; one in ten reported having done this during the past year, and 4% admitted to this action in the last month!
- 27% of the respondents acknowledged that during the past month they had driven while “so sleepy that they had difficulty keeping their eyes open.”
- 55% of the contributors who reported falling asleep while driving within the past year said this had taken place on a high-speed divided freeway.
- Not surprisingly, 70% of participants considered sleepy drivers a very serious threat to their safety, while 96% said such actions were unacceptable.
Tips for Long Distance Travels
- Make certain you have a good night’s sleep before starting your journey.
- Travel during times that you are normally awake. Getting up in the middle of the night to ‘hit the road and beat the traffic’ is a very bad idea as your body clock can lull you back to sleep.
- Stop for an overnight pit stop if you’re driving more than 6 hours alone.
- Take a break at a diner, don’t just hit a drive-through and eat on the way; it’s a chance to chat, stretch your legs and focus on more than the asphalt.
- If you become sleepy, let someone else drive – or, if you’re going solo, stop immediately. Fatigue (just like alcohol) impacts your reaction time, judgment and vision!
- It takes coffee about a half hour for the caffeine to enter your bloodstream, so wait for it to take effect before setting out.
- Driving with an alert passenger that you can communicate with may decrease the odds of having a drowsy driving collision by 50%.
- If you are drowsy, get off the road and don’t even think about also driving distracted! Focusing on a phone while being alert is dangerous in its own right – don’t do it when you are fully alert or drowsy!
Stay Safe, Stay Awake!
If you have been involved in a drowsy driving accident, please call us for a free consultation. 855-971-1114. We answer our phones 24 hours a day, every day of the year. If you need help after a South Carolina motor vehicle injury accident, Auger & Auger can work to immediately investigate your accident case so you can focus on what is important – getting better! Our SC injury law firm represents individuals hurt by the negligent actions of others. We will work hard to fight for you and the compensation you may be entitled to under the law – its what we do!