Federal Study Reveals Many Drivers Fall Asleep at the Wheel

A new report compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that falling asleep behind the wheel is happening more frequently.

Interviews conducted in 19 states with over 140,000 participants showed 4.2 percent of participants stated that in the past month they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once. The study revealed that men were at greatest risk and that women were less inclined to do so.

In addition, reports of drowsy driving decreased in participants that were older. Lastly, people who snored or averaged less than six hours of sleep a day were at higher risk of sleeping behind the wheel or driving while drowsy.

Accidents Contributed by Drowsy Driving

A 2009 report submitted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that 2.5 percent of fatal accidents and 2 percent of nonfatal accidents that occurred were due to drowsy drivers. While technology to warn drivers of drifting into oncoming traffic lanes is currently being introduced into vehicles, most vehicles don’t have this technology. This means the responsibility for being alert while driving falls squarely on the shoulder of the drivers themselves.

How to Be Alert and Stay Awake

One of the best methods of staying awake while driving, as the National Sleep Foundation recommends, is getting at least seven hours of sleep before driving. In addition, driving during the daytime as well as talking to passengers and/or listening to the radio will aid in keeping you awake.

Outside of avoiding alcohol and medication that may cause marked drowsiness, if you’re on long trips, it’s recommended that you take a break at least every two hours. If you find yourself getting drowsy, the best option is to pull over in a safe location and take a short nap. By ignoring what your body is telling saying, you stand a greater chance of falling asleep at the wheel and endangering not only yourself but others you’re sharing the road with.

Let Us Put Our Experienced Injury Law Team to Work for You!

If you have been injured in a car accident due to somebody that’s fallen asleep at the wheel, you may be entitled to medical expenses as well as compensation for lost wages and emotional distress. If this has happened to you, you need a Tampa personal injury lawyer who can fight for your rights. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203 for a free initial consultation.