Staying alert and aware is the easiest way to stay alive when driving a vehicle across the nation’s and Rhode Island’s highways, roadways and city streets. Statistics maintained by the National Sleep Foundation indicate that more than 160 million Americans say they have felt drowsy when behind the wheel and more than 100 million individuals say they have actually fallen asleep while driving. Another 13 percent said they have nodded off at least once a month when operating their vehicle, where 11 million of those drivers suffered an accident or near accident due to dozing off or being too tired to continue driving. Drowsy driving, fatigued driving, tired driving and sleepy driving are a very serious public safety problem in our country.
Sleepy Driving Car Crash in RI
Statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that driving while drowsy or sleepy is the direct cause of more than 72,000 crashes, 800 deaths and 44,000 injuries every year.
Drowsy driving, exhausted driving and fatigued operation of a motor vehicle is a serious problem on U.S. highways, streets and roads, where more than three out of every four individuals drive a vehicle to and from work. In 2005, more than 100,000 reported accidents were directly associated with driver fatigue. This resulted in preventable deaths and injuries, and more than $12 billion in monetary damages. Additional facts surrounding drowsy driving include:
• Unlike a breathalyzer used to determine intoxication, there is no current test available to determine sleepiness while driving a vehicle.
• Police receive little or no training to identify drowsiness at a crash scene in Rhode Island. Many of the current codes and laws are inconsistent or no specific traffic codes have been developed to monitor fatigue or falling asleep behind the wheel.
• Fatigue, exhaustion and drowsiness play crucial roles in RI car accidents attributed to other factors including alcohol.
(If you were injured in a Providence auto accident or Rhode island rear end crash caused by drowsy, sleepy or fatigued driving (or a motorist falling asleep or nodding off at the wheel) then contact a RI auto accident lawyer or a Rhode Island personal injury attorney.
Those at Greatest Risk in Rhode Island
Sleep-related accidents tend to be most common in young individuals, especially males, shift workers and adults with children. According to a poll taken in 2012 by the National Sleep Foundation, key drowsy driving statistics revealed:
• Adults age 18 to 29 years old are most likely to drive while drowsy when compared to any other age group.
• Adults with children are more likely to operate a vehicle while drowsy compared to those individuals without children.
• Men have a higher propensity to drive drowsy compared to women and are twice as likely to fall asleep behind the wheel.
• Sleep deprivation is known to increase the potential of a drowsy-related accident meaning individuals that sleep less have a higher risk than those that are well rested.
• Shift workers have a higher propensity of being involved in a drowsy driving accident compared to individuals who maintain a routine daytime work schedule.
• Commercial drivers who operate buses, tractor trailers and tow trucks are more likely than passenger vehicle drivers to be involved in a driving drowsy accident.
• Motorists suffering from untreated sleep disorders including sleep apnea are at high risk of being involved in a drowsy driving accident.
• Motorists on medications known to cause sleepiness are also at great risk.
Study show that individuals who typically sleep six hours or less every night or those who snore excessively have a greater chance of falling asleep when behind the wheel.
Drowsy Driving Warning Signs in Rhode Island
Motorists in Rhode island(RI) who are aware of the warning signs of drowsy driving or tired driving can take preventative measures to get off and stay off the road until they are able to be more alert behind the wheel. The most common warning signs of drowsy driving include:
• Blinking or yawning frequently
• Missing the exit
• Difficulty remembering the last miles that were driven
• Driving over rumble strips along the roadway
• Drifting into another lane
By getting enough sleep, avoiding taking medications and drinking alcohol and developing good sleeping habits to maintain a good sleeping schedule are all effective solutions for decreasing the potential of driving while drowsy or falling asleep at the wheel.
If you were injured in a Rhode Island car, motor vehicle or truck crash then contact a RI car accident lawyer or Rhode Island personal injury lawyer. A RI personal injury attorney can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve for your injuries, pain and suffering and lost wages.