Drowsy driving is both very common and dangerous. Although many drivers experience fatigue, those that fail to stop and rest place themselves as well as others at a significant risk of serious personal injury. The statistics concerning drowsy driving accidents underscore the extent of the problematic behavior, pointing to the need for better awareness of the risks involved.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adults, or 168 million people, admit to drowsy driving. A further 37 percent, or 103 million, admit to having fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that around 100,000 accidents occur as a direct result of driver fatigue every year, and these accidents result in 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries on an annual basis.
Those at greatest risk for driving while drowsy are drivers between the ages of 18 and 29, men, people with certain medical conditions and people who work the night shift. Younger drivers are much less likely to stop driving when they are fatigued. Seventy-one percent of people between ages 18 and 29 admit to driving while they are tired. Drivers who drive while fatigue also report that they tend to drive faster and become more impatient when driving while drowsy.
When a driver causes a motor vehicle accident because he or she was fatigued, he or she may be held to be civilly liable if the injured victim files a personal injury lawsuit. Through a lawsuit, a plaintiff may be able to collect damages in order to be compensated for his or her losses. Injured victims may thus want to meet with a personal injury attorney. An attorney may be able to help by drafting and filing the civil complaint and advocating on his or her client's behalf.