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Drowsy driving: More common than you may think

| Jun 17, 2021 | Injuries |

When you’re driving, the one thing you hope for is that others will pay attention to what’s going on around them. Someone who is distracted, drunk or drowsy may end up making a serious mistake that puts your life at risk or results in others getting hurt.

Unfortunately, even though it’s dangerous, many people still get behind the wheel when they’re drowsy or tired. Drowsiness was linked to 697 fatalities in motor vehicle collisions in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drowsy driving fatalities, as a result, made up around 1.9% of all fatalities on the roads for that year.

How common is drowsy driving?

A study published in 2018 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that around 8.8% to 9.5% of the 3,600 drivers involved were drowsy behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that around 1.4% of all police-reported crashes around the country involved drowsy driving between 2011 and 2015. In 2019, 2.4% of drivers involved in crashes were reported as acting drowsy at the scene.

How can people combat drowsy driving and stay safe?

Since drowsiness is a problem, it’s important for people to learn ways to combat it. Some of the easiest ways to avoid driving while drowsy include:

  • Getting enough sleep during the night
  • Taking breaks when driving for many hours at a time
  • Drinking coffee when drowsiness begins and pulling over for a nap if you won’t reach your destination quickly
  • Having a passenger or another adult drive if you feel too tired
  • Taking a cab instead of driving when taking new medications or when not well-rested

All of these ideas can help keep drowsy drivers off the road and prevent unnecessary crashes.

What can you do if you’re hit by a drowsy driver?

If you’re hit by a drowsy driver, remember that you may be able to seek compensation from them through a personal injury claim. If their negligence led to your collision, then it is fair to ask them to cover your losses, whether that includes medical care, lost wages or other financial impacts.

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