Drowsy Driving Accidents

female driver falling asleep

Drowsy driving accident statistics are harrowing: Drowsy driving is responsible for approximately 100,000 crashes annually, leading to 71,000 injuries, and more than 1,500 fatalities each year. Drowsy driving is responsible for roughly 10 percent of all accidents. A person who drives while drowsy mimics someone who is impaired by alcohol.

Below, our car accident lawyers address this pandemic and how to prevent yourself from becoming part of one of these grisly statistics.

Common Causes of Drowsy Driving 

Drowsy driving accidents are completely preventable. They are caused when a person is tired due to exertion or lack of sleep but still decides to drive.

Drowsiness has a significant impact on a person’s ability to drive safely. Drowsiness can cause a person to:

  • Be less alert
  • Be unable to focus
  • Be uncoordinated
  • Lose good judgment
  • Fall asleep at the wheel
  • Have slower reaction times
  • Be less aware of road hazards
  • Have difficulty maintaining attention
  • Have difficulty judging distance and speed

Drivers are three times more likely to be in a car crash if they are drowsy.

Groups at particular risk for drowsy driving include:

  • Young and inexperienced drivers not accustomed to the effects of fatigue on their driving
  • Commercial truck drivers who drive long distances without many breaks
  • Shift workers
  • Drivers who do not get enough sleep
  • Drivers with sleep disorders
  • Drivers under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medicines that make them sleepy

What to Know About Drowsy Driving 

Increase your safety by knowing the following preventative tips and information about drowsy driving accidents:

Warning signs of drowsy driving

A driver near you may be affected by drowsiness if they:

  • Frequently yawn
  • Do not keep their head up
  • Miss road signs or turns
  • Drive on a rumble strip
  • Are frequently changing speeds
  • Drift out of their lane

When do most drowsy driving accidents occur? 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most drowsy driving crashes occur between midnight and 6 a.m. or in the late afternoon when the body regulates sleep. Most of these crashes occur when the driver is alone in the vehicle.

Where do most drowsy driving accidents occur?

The NHTSA reports that most drowsy driving accidents happen on highways and rural roads.

How can I prevent drowsy driving accidents?

While you can’t control the actions of other drivers, you can regulate your own habits and those of your teen drivers by:

  • Practice healthy sleep habits. Follow the same sleep schedule every day. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep a day.
  • Don’t drink. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause drowsiness.
  • Ask for help driving. Fewer drowsy driving accidents happen when drivers can take turns or keep each other alert.
  • Try a new medicine safely at home before using it before driving.
  • Plan driving times so that you are driving during times you are typically awake and active.

Contact an Experienced Alabama Car Accident Lawyer for Help

If you believe a drowsy driver caused your accident, do not hesitate to reach out for legal help. The compassionate Alabama car accident lawyers at Stokes Stemle, LLC are here to help.  Contact us today for your free case review.

About the Author

At Stokes Stemle, LLC, we believe in personalized service. We get to know you, your case, and your needs. Then, we craft a legal strategy that is specially tailored to you.