The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that 328,000 car crashes in Georgia and across the U.S. occur every year because of drowsy driving. Of these, 109,000 end in injuries, and 6,400 result in death. Fatigued drivers are three times more likely to crash because lack of sleep impairs their judgment and slows their reaction times.
To raise awareness of the danger of drowsy driving, the National Sleep Foundation holds Drowsy Driving Prevention Week every year. For 2020, it will be held from Nov. 1 to 8. There’s a lot that individuals can do to prevent drowsiness behind the wheel. The first is, of course, to obtain adequate sleep. Adults should get at least seven hours of sleep each night according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Drivers under 25 compose 50% or more of the drivers involved in drowsy driving crashes, so parents may want to make sure their driving agreement with their teens contains a rule about drowsy driving. Also, universities and employers should have educational programs to encourage people to be safe.
While on the road, drivers may feel that they are drowsy, in which case they should pull over for a nap if possible. Symptoms of fatigue include drooping eyelids, frequent yawning, inability to stay in one’s lane and difficulty remembering the last few miles.
Since drowsy driving is a form of negligence, those who are injured in car accidents at the hands of a drowsy driver may be able to file a claim. They may want a lawyer to help them build the case up. Crash investigators might need to come in to show just how the defendant failed in his or her duty to keep others on the road safe. The lawyer may then proceed to negotiations for a settlement.