Driving while fatigued might not seem as dangerous as other dangerous driving habits, but it is actually a major problem in the United States, resulting in at least 100,000 police reported crashes every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In fact, driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol. Studies have shown that being awake for 18 hours can cause an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05. After 24 hours without sleep, an individual’s impairment would be equivalent to .10, compared to .08, which is considered legally drunk.
According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), nearly three-quarters of adults in the country drive a car to and from work and often do so while drowsy. In a poll conducted by the NSF, 37% of adult drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel while another 13% said they nod off at least once a month. How risky is this? The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety did some research on the topic, producing a study that revealed those who sleep between 6 and 7 hours of sleep are twice as likely to have an accident compared to those who get at least 8 hours of sleep. Those who sleep less than 5 hours are 4 to 5 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Unfortunately, state reporting practices are inconsistent and police are not trained to identify fatigue as a crash factor. Nevertheless, the NHTSA estimates that at least 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries occur every year due to fatigued drivers, costing $12.5 billion in losses, though these figures might actually be much higher.
If you were involved in a car accident caused by a fatigued driver, you have a right to hold that person accountable for their negligent behavior. At Klein Frank, P.C., we have over 60 years of combined experience and a vast amount of resources to determine the exact cause of your accident and ensure all at-fault parties are held responsible for your suffering.
Contact us today at (303) 622-3876 for a free initial consultation.