The fast-paced and stressful environment of today’s world sometimes makes getting enough of the right kind of sleep difficult to accomplish. We have so many things on our mind and so much to do that our sleep patterns may become disrupted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year.
This results in approximately 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and 12.5 billion in monetary losses. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who sleep six to seven hours per night are twice as likely to be involved in a crash as those who sleep 8 hours or more. People sleeping less than 5 hours increase their risk 4 to 5 times.
Drowsy driving incidents can have disastrous results. The AAA study found that drowsy drivers are involved in an estimated 21% of fatal crashes because when we are sleepy or drowsy, reaction time is slower and concentration and judgment are poor. Combine driving at night with being sleepy and you have a recipe for disaster.
Truck drivers are especially susceptible to fatigue-related incidents on the road. Truck companies sometimes impose unrealistic deadlines on their drivers so that their goods can be transported as quickly as possible. Consequently, truck drivers will sometimes forego sleeping in favor of getting to their destination on time. When truck companies jeopardize public safety by asking their drivers to meet challenging deadlines, and drivers respond by driving while fatigued, the injuries and emotional impact is devastating to the victims. Multi-million dollar settlements have been awarded to families of crash victims as the result of lawsuits filed against businesses whose employees were involved in crashes caused by driver fatigue.
There are strategies for managing the risks of driving while drowsy or fatigued. They include: getting enough sleep, choosing not to drive when tired or drowsy, avoiding alcohol before driving, limiting how many hours driven in a day, taking regular breaks at 2 or 3 hour intervals and sharing the driving responsibilities with someone else whenever possible.
Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by drowsy or fatigue-related driving, contact our experienced NY car accident attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP NY. Our personal injury attorneys have the skills, knowledge, and experience to represent you and make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.