A California motorist might sympathize with the large number of United States residents who report driving while tired. However, the potential for an accident during drowsy driving should make the statistics reported by AAA alarming. According to a 2015 surveyconducted by the organization, at least 43 percent of U.S. motorists have fallen asleep or nodded off briefly while driving at least once in their lives.
A long commute after a late shift might make it difficult to avoid fatigued driving, but the safety risks should cause motorists to re-think their approach to such a situation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages drivers to avoid this scenario because of the dangers. At least 5,000 lives are lost throughout the nation each year because of car accidents involving drowsy drivers, according to the agency’s administrator. Nearly 32 percent of drivers surveyed by AAA had driven in a sleep-deprived condition in the month prior to being surveyed. Young people reported such behavior in even greater numbers with nearly 40 percent of those between 19 and 24 years of age having driven while fatigued in the previous month.
The studies in question do not indicate what may have led to driving in a sleep-deprived state. However, many individuals don’t realize that they are at risk until it is too late. A lack of a safe place to stop might prompt some drivers to continue on. In other cases, the length of the drive might promote drowsiness, especially if the drive occurs late at night when there is little other traffic.
A person who has been injured in an accident caused by a drowsy or otherwise negligent driver will often face high medical bills and be unable to return to work for a lengthy period. In some cases, a personal injury attorney may suggest that seeking compensation for those losses through a lawsuit filed against the at-fault motorist would be advisable.