National Highway Transportation and Safety statistics show that approximately 75,000 injuries and 2,500 fatalities occur every year in the U.S. as a result of drowsy driving. Since drowsy driving is difficult to determine in car crashes, it’s believed that these numbers are significantly underestimated.
Facts and Statistics
According to a National Sleep Foundation (NSF) poll, 60 percent of adult drivers admit to drowsy driving, and 37 percent admit to falling asleep behind the wheel. Within the group who fell asleep at the wheel, 15 percent admit to nodding off at least once a month. Approximately twelve million drivers admit to having an accident or near accident due to drowsy driving. On Nevada’s long open roads, an auto accident attorney Las Vegas commonly sees crashes that may be attributed to sleepiness and drowsy driving. Studies show that people tend to fall asleep more on high-speed, long, boring, rural highways.
Data shows that approximately 73 percent of adults drive a car to and from work each day. According to the NSF poll, 27 percent of those drivers admit to driving to work while drowsy three to five days each month, 15 percent admit to two or three days each week, and five percent admit to driving drowsy every day. Statistics indicate that sleep related crashes are most common in young men under age 25, adults with children, shift workers, and people who work more than one job.
Drowsy Driving Prevention
It’s very difficult to determine drowsy driving as the cause of a fatal crash, but certain clues at a crash scene indicate to investigators that the person fell asleep at the wheel. Many drowsy driving accidents only involve one vehicle where the driver is alone and injuries are serious or fatal. Typically, there are no skid marks or evidence of other evasive maneuvers at the crash scene.
Unlike alcohol-related crashes, there is no blood or breath test for sleepiness behind the wheel. However, there are ways to prevent drowsy driving and fatalities often seen by an auto accident attorney Las Vegas. The National Sleep Foundation suggests:
- Get adequate sleep each night. For adults, sleep experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, and for teens, 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours.
- Drive with a companion who can alternate driving, especially on long trips
- Schedule regular stops every two hours or every 100 miles
- Avoid alcohol and sedating medications that impair driving performance