At this time, it is probably safe to say that the risks of drunk driving are common knowledge. And over the past several decades, the threat of distracted driving (talking or texting on the phone while behind the wheel) is becoming increasingly more well-known also, with some countries passing legislation requiring hands kits and other steps.
Over 10 percent of accidents could be due to driving while tired
The VTTI conducted a 100-car pragmatic driving poll suggesting that up to 12 percent of injuries and near misses could be related to motorists hitting the street while tired. Among the more surprising findings to me as a seasoned auto accident lawyer was that there were more fatigue-related accidents during the day than at night.
This study supports previous findings from the NHTSA that drowsy drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers, and are causing growing numbers of auto accidents causing personal injuries. According to an MSNBC report, nearly all the collision data in the NHTSA analysis was based on police reports and self-reports by motorists following the crash.
1 persistent difficulty in reducing the quantities of fatigue-related mishaps is that motorists just don’t take the matter seriously, often continuing to push even when they know they’re fighting or tired to stay awake.
As a long-time automobile accident attorney, I’d recommend more permanent solutions, such as changing your general sleeping habits and making healthy lifestyle changes.
The issue is simple, “sleepiness contributes to crashes since it impairs elements of human performance that are critical to safe driving.” The report notes three chief impairments that result in the vast majority of sleep-related car accidents causing personal injuries: diminished reaction time, decreased vigilance, and deficits in information processing.
Although any motorist may succumb to sleepiness at the wheel, both studies found that men in their late teens and twenties are at the greatest risk, followed by shift employees with irregular work hours. Operating a motor vehicle once your body and mind are in less than ideal condition is almost always a bad idea – and always avoidable. To combat the issue, the NHTSA has issued 138 motorist fatigue-related security recommendations in the expectation that a public campaign against the issue will help elevate awareness and decrease the amount of drowsy driving accidents.