Despite the fact that drowsy driving auto accidents are the most easily preventable of collisions, one in five fatal collisions in the US are caused by this factor. The most significant issue with these kinds of accidents and the reason that they are so frequently fatal is that the at-fault driver is frequently asleep at the time of the accident. Many people are aware of how dangerous it is to drive drunk, yet they don’t realize that drowsy driving is just as dangerous. While someone who is drunk is prone to making driving mistakes, they are also often able to try to minimize the damage when they realize that an accident is about to occur. This is because a drunk driver may at least be conscious at the time of the incident if they have not passed out from their alcohol intake. Drowsy drivers, on the other hand, are likely to be nodding off or not paying attention at all. If someone is asleep at the time that an auto accident occurs, they cannot make any effort to slow down, to turn, to get back into their own lane, or to stop themselves from colliding at full speed with another vehicle or object.
2016 Drowsy Driving Auto Accident Statistics in the United States
The reason we’re drawing attention to the problem of drowsy driving in Douglasville, Georgia, is because of how serious the problem is becoming. This is especially apparent in the 2016 drowsy driving statistics for the United States. For example, in 2016 alone, there were more than 325,000 auto accidents caused by drowsy driving, and 109,000 of those involved serious injuries.
These incidents also resulted in 6,400 fatalities. The reason that these numbers are so high is that more than one-third of all drivers are getting less than seven hours of sleep when it takes seven to nine hours of sleep to keep drivers alert. To fully understand the significance of this problem, you must know that anyone who gets less than five hours of sleep is more than 300% more likely to cause an accident and is just as impaired as a drunk driver. Ten percent of drivers fit into this category. Those who get less than seven hours, but at least five, are still twice as likely to cause an accident.
Preventing Douglasville, Georgia, Auto Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving
There are many ways to prevent drowsy driving on Douglasville, Georgia, roads. The first thing is to really understand the risks associated with not getting enough sleep, working odd hours, and nodding off while driving. Once you recognize that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, that your level of impairment is comparable to having a BAC over .08%, and that drowsy driving takes thousands of lives from their loved ones each year, you can face the necessity of avoiding these incidents. At the same time, you must be aware that it is possible to make changes to your habits and lifestyle in order to affect change on the roads of Douglasville, Georgia.
For many, the idea of preventing drowsy driving can seem overwhelming and impossible. Maybe your work schedule is never consistent. Maybe you work third shift or back-to-back shifts. Maybe your job is far enough away that you have a long commute in the early hours of the morning or the late hours of the night. Maybe you’ve recognized that you aren’t getting enough sleep, noticed yourself driving drowsy, and even been frightened by a close call, but don’t know what to do about it. You may not have time to increase your hours of sleep each day. It can be extremely challenging to address the hazard once you acknowledge and recognize the severity of the issue.
To begin with, you need to know how to recognize when drowsiness is affecting your driving and what to do. You may be yawning a lot or nodding off. You may feel disconnected or dreamlike. Any indication that you are excessively sleepy is an indication that you and others on the road are in danger. It is at this time that you need to understand that you are a hazard and know how to respond to that hazard. You may need to pull over in a safe place, make a phone call, and take a nap. You can call those who are expecting you to be home and inform them of your condition. You might be able to get somebody to come to pick you up, or you may just need to inform them of the fact that you need to take a nap before you can continue on the road. It is always better to take yourself off of the road when drowsy, even if it means taking a nap in your car and getting home late.
Other things that you can do to address a situation in which drowsy driving is a regular everyday problem include scheduling time to take naps or going to bed earlier than you usually do. You may also try carpooling to and from work so that you aren’t drowsy behind the wheel. Having a plan in place for times when you are too drowsy to drive, such as finding someone to call who will agree to help you out when you get drowsy behind the wheel, is a good start.
Contact a Douglasville, Georgia, Auto Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been in a Douglasville, Georgia, auto accident that was caused by drowsy driving, you need to contact an attorney. The experienced Douglasville, GA auto accident lawyers at John B. Jackson & Associates are here to help you through every step of the process. The results of an auto accident can be that much more severe when drowsy driving is a factor. There is no chance to slow down, little chance to avoid the severity of the impact, and the whole thing can be shocking and traumatic. Call John B. Jackson & Associates to find out how we can help you to recover compensation after auto accident was caused by drowsy driving.