Tired drivers cause over 7000 fatal accidents in the United States each year. Sleep-related crashes cause a high proportion of rollover and rear-end and head-on collisions.
“When a driver gets behind the wheel and is too tired to have good judgment, people die,” said Fred Pritzker, an attorney who represents families in wrongful death lawsuits against negligent drivers, bus companies, trucking companies and others. “Driving while exhausted is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If information needs to be processed quickly to avoid an accident, someone who can barely keep their eyes open is not going to be able to do that.”
Fred and his team of Minnesota car accident lawyers have helped many families hold wrongdoers accountable after a fatal accident. You can call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) to contact Fred and his team and get your free consultation.
Tired Driver Statistics from the CDC
Adults are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel if they:
- sleep less than 6 hours a day;
- snore; or
- unintentionally fall asleep during the day.
Of adults interviewed by the CDC, 4.0% reported falling asleep while driving during the previous 30 days. The CDC also found a correlation between irresponsible behavior (binge drinking, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and not consistently wearing a seat belt) with falling asleep at the wheel and causing a fatal accident.
Somewhat surprisingly, drowsy driving decreased with age from 5.9% among adults aged 18–24 years to 1.8% among adults over the age of 65. Young men are the worst offenders. Older drivers may get tired faster, but they seem to have the good sense not to drive when they are tired.
This information is from a CDC study reported in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a CDC publication.
These kinds of accidents are obviously preventable. The CDC suggests that drivers do the following:
- get enough sleep (7 -8 hours);
- seek treatment for sleep disorders;
- avoid any alcohol consumption before driving because even small amounts of alcohol can amplify driver impairment caused by drowsiness;
- get off of the road when they are too tired to drive (one woman finds a hospital parking lot to sleep in when she gets too tired).
A recent study found that sleep apnea can cause semi truck drivers to fall asleep at the wheel.