A new study from the AAA has found that one out of ten car accidents may be linked to drowsy driving, making fatigued drivers more of a concern than many individuals thought. Previously, estimates had suggested only 1-2% of traffic collision were caused by drowsy drivers. The AAA study was more thorough than previous research, however, and included a larger pool of drivers examined.
The results of the AAA study come from following 3,500 drivers between 2010 and 2013. During the study period, the drivers under observation were involved in over 700 accidents and fatigued driving was found to be a factor in as many as 9.5% of the crashes. Over 10% of the crashes linked to serious results, such as injury or airbag deployment, were linked to drowsy driving.
The focus on drowsy driving has not been as extensive in part because it is difficult to prove when a driver is fatigued or closing his or her eyes. If you have been in a car accident in Hollywood or anywhere in South Florida, this is one reason why it is important to consult with a Hollywood car accident attorney. An attorney with experience in these cases can work with accident reconstruction experts, investigators, and other professionals to help find the evidence needed to strengthen your case.
The message of the AAA is simple: driving when tired can increase your risk of a collision. In fact, according to the group, just two or three hours less of sleep can have the same impact as drinking alcohol: it can quadruple your risk of a car accident.
You can help avoid drowsy driving accidents by:
- Managing your time well. If you have so much to do that you’re not getting enough sleep, you have too much to do. Learn to delegate tasks or manage your schedule so you have enough time to sleep.
- Practicing good sleep hygiene. Have a regular nighttime routine that helps you relax, destress and get ready for a good night of sleep. Turn off screens a few hours before bedtime and avoid eating or exercise in the hours before bedtime, as this can affect your sleep. You can also ensure proper rest by ensuring your bedroom is as comfortable as possible. Maintain a good temperature and use a supportive mattress. Keep noise and light to a minimum or try earplugs and shades over your eyes if your bedroom environment is not ideal.
- Taking sleep deprivation as seriously as drunk driving. If you are yawning, having trouble keeping your eyes open, or are tired, do not drive. Get a drive with someone else or take a taxi. It’s not worth the risk to nod off at the wheel and cause a collision.
- Going to a doctor if you consistently feel tired. Fatigue can be a sign of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, which can be deadly for drivers. Constant tiredness can also be a symptom of other medical conditions requiring attention and treatment.
If you have been injured by a fatigued or restless driver, reach out to Flaxman Law Group today for a free, no obligation consultation with a Hollywood car accident attorney.