A lack of sleep can lead to symptoms that are similar to those caused by drinking too much alcohol. This could explain why drowsy driving is a problem on the roadways. An estimated 5,000 people were killed in 2015 due to accidents caused by drowsy driving. This information was published on Aug. 8 in a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association.
The GHSA report, ‘Wake Up Call! Understanding Drowsy Driving and What States Can Do,” claims that driving while fatigued poses a definite danger that is hard to combat and accurately measure. Authorities have protocols for identifying drunk but not drowsy drivers. Motorists who are sleep deprived might not admit it or show symptoms after being involved in a crash.
More than half of the drowsy driving accidents that take place each year involve young adults and teens. Those who work irregular shifts or nights are at a higher risk for driving while fatigued. In addition, around 40 million Americans may suffer from sleep disorders.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now considers drowsy driving to be impaired driving along with operating a vehicle while drugged, drunk or distracted. To reduce drowsy driving, the GHSA report suggests increasing public awareness, better data collection, educating teens and implementing workplace policies.
Victims of car accidents may be able to seek compensation from an at-fault driver. A motorist is liable for a wreck when he or she caused an otherwise preventable incident through negligent actions. A victim may wish to consult an attorney when filing a claim in civil court.