Florida Car Accident Attorney: Drowsy Driving Can Be as Dangerous as DUI

by Carmen Dellutri on September 26, 2011

Florida car accident attorneyDid you know that Drowsy Driving Prevention Week was held in Florida earlier this month? In case you missed it, this post will outline what you need to know to prevent a Florida drowsy driving accident.

Is Drowsing Driving Common?

Driving while fatigued is alarmingly common. About one-half of adult drivers—51% or about 100 million people—report they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and almost 2 in 10 have actually fallen asleep at the wheel, according to the National Sleep Foundation's 2002 Sleep in America poll.

Given the high incidence of drowsy driving, it should not be surprising that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates driver fatigue causes 100,000 police-reported crashes, 1,550 deaths, and 71,000 injuries each year.

Who’s At Greatest Risk?

According to the NHTSA, the highest risk groups for driver fatigue include:

  • Young people, especially males under age 26.
  • Shift workers and people with long work hours. Working the night shift increases your risk by nearly six times; rotating-shift workers and people working more than 60 hours a week also are at higher risk.
  • Commercial and long-haul drivers. About 15 percent of all heavy truck crashes involve fatigue.
  • People with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders are seven times more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Business travelers who spend many hours driving or may be jet lagged.

Can It Be Prevented?

Thankfully, drowsy driving accidents are preventable. Since any driver can fall victim to drowsy driving, below are some precautions you can take to stay alert while behind the wheel.

  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Adults need seven to nine hours while most teenagers need 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours of sleep a day.
  • Drive with a friend. You can share driving responsibilities and help keep each other alert while on the road.
  • Take a break every couple of hours. By stretching your legs, catching a quick nap or having a meal out of the car you can recharge your battery.
  • Drive sober. Alcohol and driving is a deadly combination. Also, make sure you are not taking any prescription drugs that could make you drowsy.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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