Falling asleep at the wheel is a serious and potentially deadly problem that can affect drivers of all ages and experience levels. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving is a factor in an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 fatalities in the United States each year. It’s a fairly common cause of motor vehicle accidents, causing an estimated 70,000 to 80,000 crashes annually.
One way to measure the prevalence of drowsy driving is to look at the proportion of accidents that involve drowsy drivers. According to the NHTSA, about 2.5% of all motor vehicle crashes involve a drowsy driver. This may seem like a small percentage, but it translates to thousands of crashes within a 12-month span.
It’s worth noting that the actual number of drowsy driving accidents is likely higher than these estimates, as it can be difficult to accurately determine whether a driver was drowsy at the time of the crash. Some drivers may be unwilling to admit that they fell asleep at the wheel, and others may not realize that they were drowsy before the accident occurred.
There are several factors that can increase the risk of a driver falling asleep at the wheel. These include:
There are several steps that drivers can take to reduce the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. These include:
Of course, while you may take steps to minimize your chances of falling asleep at the wheel, you can’t control the choices that others make. Thus, it’s possible you may one day be harmed in a drowsy driving accident someone else causes.
You can likely seek compensation for your medical bills and other such wages if this ever happens. At Solomon, Sherman, Gabay, Briskin & Sherman, our Philadelphia car accident attorneys can help you pursue what you may be owed. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 215-665-1100 to schedule your free consultation.