The Dangers of Drowsy Driving Were Confirmed in a New StudyScience Daily recently profiled a study based on data from the US Department of Transportation (US DOT). The study analyzed over 5,000 vehicle collisions with the aim of determining how sleep affected the likelihood of a car accident. The study was performed because tired drowsy are dangerous drivers. Per the research, drowsy drivers:

  • Lack the cognitive ability to recognize and respond to traffic dangers
  • Are less physically able to apply brakes in time or steer away from trouble
  • Are not duly focused on the traffic around them

These failures can easily cause a driver to get into an accident, killing or injuring the driver, passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, and bicycle riders.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 25 drivers admits to driving while drowsy. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2013 showed that drowsy driving caused 800 fatalities, 44,000 injuries, and 72,000 crashes.

The dangers of tired drivers are so well known that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that truck drivers stop driving if they haven’t had enough rest over a 24-hour period and over a weekly period.

The findings of the new study

Tired drivers cause about one in six of every fatal crash and 7% of all car accidents according to the Science Daily article. The study (a peer-review study) showed that:

  • The likelihood of getting into an accident varied depending on the number of hours of sleep as follows:
    • Four hours – 2.9 times as likely as a rested driver.
    • Five hours – 1.9 times as likely.
    • Six hours – 1.3 times as likely.
  • Drivers with less than four hours sleep had the same odds of getting into an accident as drivers whose blood alcohol level was one and half times the state limit.
  • Drivers who had fewer than four hours sleep were a major cause of single-car crashes.

Additionally, the study found that changes in sleep schedules increased the possibility of a car crash. Drivers who didn’t take a break within a three-hour time frame were also more likely to have an accident.

Tired drivers should be held accountable for any deaths or injuries they cause. Liability includes wrongful death damages, damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of wages, and other damages such as property damage.

At Delius & McKenzie, PLLC, our experienced car accident lawyers understand how to prove drivers operated their vehicle while drowsy. In addition to filing a claim against the driver, we seek to hold the owners of the vehicle responsible too. Our Sevierville car accident lawyers have a strong reputation for negotiating fair settlements and we have obtained many verdicts and settlements against responsible drivers and owners.

To speak with an aggressive trial lawyer, please call  us at (865) 428-8780 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our attorneys fight for injury victims who live in Sevierville, Seymour, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the neighboring Tennessee areas. We handle injury cases on a contingency fee basis.