Drowsy Driving Prevention Week 2019
To reduce the number of crashes that result from drowsy driving, the week of November 3-10, 2019 is being designated as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, promoted by the National Sleep Foundation. Unfortunately, drowsy driving is responsible for more than 6,400 deaths in the United States each year. These crashes are caused by people who voluntarily elect to drive while sleep deprived or when people experience excessive sleepiness due to sleep disorders. Through their annual campaign, the NSF encourages drivers to prioritize sleep and only drive when feeling alert and refreshed.
Joining this year’s campaign, UPS will be launching efforts to remind people to refrain from driving while drowsy to promote road safety and invites other companies to do the same. It is encouraged that people spread awareness and promote non-drowsy driving throughout the week on social media outlets using the hashtag #Alert2Drive. According to the NSF, about half of U.S. adult drivers admit to consistently getting behind the while feeling drowsy and around 20% admit to falling asleep while driving within the past year. Based on these figures, it is prevalent that many drivers do not realize that drowsy driving is impaired driving. In fact, drowsy driving is similar to driving while under the influence of alcohol, worsening reaction times and decreasing driver’s awareness.
It is estimated that drivers are three times more likely to end up in a car crash when driving fatigued, which is supported by statistics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revealed that 100,000 police-reported crashes involve driving while drowsy each year. However, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that that number is closer to 328,000. Regrettably, 109,000 of these crashes have resulted in injury with 6,400 being fatal.
These frightening statistics increase the urgency for drowsy driving interventions, especially regarding people under the age of 25. Some intervention methods include parent-teen discussions about the effects of driving while drowsy, crash avoidance technologies, getting more sleep, properly reading medication labels, and employers encouraging their workers to refrain from getting behind the wheel when sleep deprived. However, some symptoms of fatigue are difficult for people to identify. These symptoms can include frequent yawning or difficulty keeping eyes open, “nodding off,” the inability to remember driving the past few miles, missing road signs or turns, difficulty maintaining speed and drifting out between lanes.
It is important to remember the symptoms of fatigued driving and strategies to help reduce the number of people who drive when drowsy. By raising awareness throughout Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, the rate of crashes caused by drowsy driving can be reduced. However, even when you are practicing safe driving methods and refraining from driving while tired, crashes can still occur. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or harm in a car crash due to the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. are ready to answer any questions you may have regarding your legal options. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.