Drowsy Driving Killed About 5,000 People in 2015
A lot of people don't get the sleep they need, and when they get on the road, they become dangerous drivers. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, more than 80 million people drive every day without enough sleep, and about 5,000 people died in crashes in 2015 because of this dangerous habit. However, California drivers might be surprised that the full extent of the issue is unknown.
More than half of recorded fatigue-related collisions involve teens and young adults. Other people at a higher risk of drowsy driving are those who work nights or irregular shifts as well as those who suffer from sleep disorders.
Drowsy driving is such a serious safety problem that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration modified its definition for impaired driving to include driving while fatigued. This is because sleep-deprived drivers are unable to react as quickly as drivers who get plenty of sleep. The agency found in an analysis of traffic crashes that injury and fatal accidents involving drowsy drivers costs society $109 billion every year.
To reduce motor vehicle deaths from drowsy driving, the GHSA recommends an improvement in data collection, licensing education and requirements for teen drivers, law enforcement training, legislation, public awareness and workplace policies. Some states have already started addressing the issue. Iowa worked with a supermarket chain to launch a public outreach campaign. Utah posted highway signs to remind drivers that fatigue is dangerous and encourage them to pull over, which is credited for a 63 percent reduction in motor vehicle accidents in that state.
Road users suffer thousands of injuries and deaths every year in all types of traffic accidents. When the negligence of another party is the cause of a car accident, the injured victims or the relatives of deceased victims might be entitled to compensation. To help them build their cases, they could talk to personal injury attorneys.