Driving while sleepy or fatigued doesn’t always seem like a serious concern. Drivers often think that “only going a short way” or traveling only routes they know well – such as the route from work to home – are safe even if they’re feeling drowsy.
However, a recent study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that drowsy driving can have serious consequences. And the number of drowsy driving car accidents on U.S. roads appears to be increasing, raising the risk that a sleepy or fatigued driver will nod off at the wheel and cause a serious accident.
The CDC study examined 150,000 drivers in 19 states and Washington, D.C. It found that 4.2 percent of those drivers, or about 6,300 of them, admitted to having nodded off behind the wheel at least once in the past 30 days.
The CDC says these numbers are in line with national statistics on sleepy driving, which estimate that four percent of drivers are drowsy enough to fall asleep at the wheel at any given time. About 2.5 percent of all crashes involve drowsy driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), although these numbers are not steady over time. In 2011, for instance, the NHTSA found that a full 11 percent of accidents had “drowsy driving” reported as a partial or total cause.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, dedicated Kentucky car accident attorney Tad Thomas can help. Contact our office today to learn more.