A study of driver fatigued was recently conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in association with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The researchers concluded that fatigued driving is a leading cause of car accidents. If you have been driving while sleepy, assuming that it does not put you at an increased risk of a car crash in Coral Gables or your community, the study’s findings may be eye-opening.
Researchers in the study examined 100 vehicles in the Washington DC and Northern Virginian region. The cars were especially equipped with technology ranging from accelerometers to sensors, video and radar, and special lane-tracking software. The technology allowed researchers to not only rely on self-reporting of fatigue from drivers but also allowed them to track drivers who closed their eyelids, yawned, nodded off, or otherwise exhibited signs of fatigued.
The technology was significant because most studies on fatigued driving rely on motorists to self-report signs of fatigue. This technology allowed researchers to actually track signs of fatigue – whether drivers were aware of them or not. While traditional studies have estimated that fatigue causes 2-3% of accidents, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study found that fatigued drivers account for 20% of car accidents. Researchers further found that younger drivers (between the ages of 18 and 20) were more likely to be in fatigue-related crashes. The study also concluded that fatigue-related car accidents are more likely to occur during the daytime.
Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concluded that motorists who are even only moderately tired when driving are four times more likely to be a collision when compared with rested drivers.
More studies are already underway into fatigued driving, but in the meantime experts agree that avoiding fatigued driving is vital. If you want to avoid being in a car or truck accident in Coral Gables or your community, you will want to:
•Get a good night’s sleep
•Visit your doctor if you notice daytime fatigue or another symptom of a sleep disorder
•Get prompt treatment for sleep disorders
•Do not drive when you are tired
•Rely on public transportation or carpooling if you have a hectic schedule and often work late
•Use extra caution behind the wheel if you work shifts that change your sleep patterns and make you more prone to fatigue
•Do not assume that energy drinks or coffee will make you safer behind the wheel if you are tired – they will not
Studies have already concluded that driving fatigued is as dangerous as driving under the influence, because it can impair your judgment and slow response times in similar ways. Avoid drunk driving accidents in Coral Gables or your community by not driving after drinking, and avoid fatigue-related crashes by not driving when you are tired.
Each year, people in Southern Florida are seriously injured or killed by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. If you have been seriously injured by someone who was driving recklessly or negligently, contact the Flaxman Law Group to find out what your options are. Your initial consultation comes with no obligation and no cost.