Drowsy driving leads to some 328,000 car crashes every year across the U.S., according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and many of them are in Tennessee. Of these, 109,000 end in physical injuries and 6,400 in fatalities. The fact is that adults need at least seven hours of sleep a night, and if they fail to do this, they put themselves and others in danger when behind the wheel.
Drowsiness impairs attention and the ability to react to dangers. In severe cases of drowsiness, people can experience four- to five-second bursts of inattention called microsleep. A driver traveling at highway speeds who experiences microsleep can travel the length of an entire football field without realizing it. Drowsy driving is ultimately a lot like drunk driving. Being awake for 20 hours straight is like having a BAC of .08.
However, there are various interventions for reducing drowsy driving. Parents should know that 50% or more of all crash initiators who are drowsy are under the age of 25. They should add a drowsiness rule in the driving agreement they have with their teens. Universities could also have an educational program in place to encourage healthier behavior among students, many of whom fail to achieve even six hours of sleep. Then there are crash avoidance technologies like lane departure warning that can prove helpful.
Those who are injured in motor vehicle accidents may want to find out just how the other side was negligent. Drowsy driving can be hard to prove in some cases since motorists can easily lie about their condition. Whatever the nature of their case, victims could do well to hire a lawyer for assistance, especially when the time comes for negotiating a settlement.