212-571-7100

Free Consultation

Study: Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving

Drunk and distracted driving receive a good deal of media attention, and rightfully so. However, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous. With many Americans not getting enough sleep, working long hours and having lengthy commutes, it’s become a serious problem. About 20 percent of fatal accidents in this country are linked to drowsy driving.

A recently-released study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that people who have had less than seven hours of sleep in the past 24 hours are at greater risk of being in a crash than those who have gotten at least that much.

Further, according to the study, the less sleep you get, the more your odds of a crash increase. Drivers who have gotten just five to six hours of sleep double their risk of a crash. Those who’ve had less than five hours quadruple it. Their odds of being involved in an accident are comparable to those of drunk drivers.

While some drivers are aware that they aren’t alert enough to drive because they feel their eyes getting heavy or drift into another lane, they power through anyway because they need or want to get where they’re going. However, according to AAA, half of all drivers involved in drowsy driving-related crashes report that they weren’t aware that they were drowsy before they dozed off behind the wheel.

While getting at least seven hours of sleep every night is one way to help prevent a drowsy driving accident, there are other factors that can make drivers less than alert. Many medications cause drowsiness. Driving for long distances or long periods without a break can decrease alertness. Driving at times that you’re not usually on the road, particularly in the early morning or late night hours, can also cause people do doze off.

Even if you’re careful not to drive when you’re tired, you can’t control what other drivers decide to do. If you’re injured in an accident where another driver was at fault, one factor that you and your attorney should look into is whether the driver was sleep-deprived or less than alert due to medication, a long stretch of driving or other factors. That could influence the outcome of a civil case against that driver.

Source: NBC 4 Washington, “Drowsy Driving Comparable to Drunk Driving: AAA Foundation Study,” Dec. 06, 2016

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT US

“When I got hurt in a traffic accident while riding my bike in New York City, my friend suggested I speak to O’Dwyer & Bernstien. Upon my initial phone conversation with a lawyer from the firm I was impressed by his courtesy, quick return phone calls and concise explanation of the legal tactics available to me. After meeting face to face with him, I decided immediately to retain O’Dwyer & Bernstien to represent me in my personal injury case. I was very happy with my attorney and with the outcome of my case. I highly recommend O’Dwyer & Bernstien to anyone seeking legal representation.”

“When I got hurt in a traffic accident while riding my bike in New York City, my friend suggested I speak to O’Dwyer & Bernstien. Upon my initial phone conversation with a lawyer from the firm I was impressed by his courtesy, quick return phone calls and concise explanation of the legal tactics available to me. After meeting face to face with him, I decided immediately to retain O’Dwyer & Bernstien to represent me in my personal injury case. I was very happy with my attorney and with the outcome of my case. I highly recommend O’Dwyer & Bernstien to anyone seeking legal representation.”

“I retained O’Dwyer & Bernstien on the recommendation of a friend. I was immediately impressed by the firm’s experience and reputation in personal injury law. From the start, my ODB attorney walked me through the process, answered all my questions, explained everything clearly, kept me updated regularly and always promptly returned my telephone calls and emails. My attorney was knowledgeable, professional, courteous and diligent. My case moved through the court system quickly. As trial neared, the insurance company saw that my attorney was experienced and thoroughly prepared to try my case to verdict. As a result, the insurance company caved and settled my case for the full limits of the insurance policy. I love my ODB attorney!”

“When I was hurt on the job I had nowhere to turn for help. I had been working as an electrician’s helper, but my boss was not insured and he had no license to do electrical work. I had just had a new baby girl and Con Ed was going to shut off my lights. A friend told me to call O’Dwyer & Bernstien. They took action right away and got great money for my case. ODB helped me get my life back on track. I will always be grateful.”