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Study Finds Drowsy Driving a Factor in Substantial Share of Car Accidents

young lady sleeping behind the wheel

While not every driver complies with the laws on drunken driving, the average American motorist is aware of the potential risks involved in driving after having had an unsafe amount to drink. Due to the risks imposed on other motorists and roadway occupants, driving under the influence is viewed as a morally-reprehensible, shameful behavior. But there’s another dangerous driving behavior for which researchers are only now beginning to realize the true risks involved, and that’s drowsy driving. New research has provided even more evidence of the dangers of driving while drowsy, and how common it is for injury accidents to involve sleepy drivers. Read on to discover more about this new research, and contact a skilled Texas car accident lawyer if you’ve been hurt in a drowsy driving crash in Texas.

Study examines role of drowsiness in car collisions

Until now, discovering the role of drowsiness in motor vehicle collisions has been challenging for law enforcement and researchers, since there is no chemical means of testing drivers for sleepiness. Thus, while official government statistics state that only 1-2% of all crashes annually are caused by drowsy driving, many believe that the true numbers of crashes caused by drowsiness is much higher. The recently-released study on drowsy driving was conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The researchers used video footage taken of over 3,500 drivers who agreed to have their behind-the-wheel behavior captured on camera. The researchers focused on drivers who had been involved in an accident and, through frame-by-frame analysis, looked for signs of drowsiness among drivers in the seconds before the collision occurred.

A tenth of car collisions linked to drowsy driving

According to the AAA Foundation study, between 9 and 9.6% of all drivers involved in car collisions showed signs of drowsiness prior to the crash. Additionally, over 10% of all drivers involved in an car crash or one that resulted in major property damage showed signs of drowsiness before the collision. The head of advocacy and research for the AAA Foundation, Jake Nelson, stated, “As many Americans struggle to balance their busy schedules, missing a few hours of sleep each day can often seem harmless. But missing just 2 to 3 hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash, which is the equivalent of driving drunk.” Drivers who continue to drive despite being drowsy are recklessly putting their own lives and the lives of others at risk. The financial liability for a collision caused  while driving drowsy can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you have been hurt in an automobile collision and need help in recovering damages for injuries sustained, contact the dedicated and seasoned Beaumont personal injury attorneys at the Gilbert Adams Law Offices for a consultation, at 409-835-3000.

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