Our Fort Myers injury lawyers encourage you to carry the message of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, which runs Nov. 8 to Nov. 14.
A new report by the AAA Foundation for Highway Safety found that 2 of every 5 drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at some point. One in 10 drivers said they have done it in the past year. More than one-fourth of motorists surveyed admitted to driving while so tired they could hardly keep their eyes open at some point during the last month.
Despite 85 percent of those polled saying that driving while too tired is “completely unacceptable,” the disconnect between opinion and statistics indicates far too many drivers do not appreciate the dangers of drowsy driving.
“When you are behind the wheel of a car, being sleepy is very dangerous. Sleepiness decreases awareness, slows reaction time, and impairs judgment, just like drugs or alcohol, contributing to the possibility of a crash,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. “We need to change the culture so that not only will drivers recognize the dangers of driving while drowsy but will stop doing it.”
New statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that one-sixth of fatal car accidents involve a driver who was drowsy, accounting for more than 5,500 deaths each year. Drowsy driving is also involved in 1 in 8 accidents involving hospitalization and 1 in 14 crashes that result in a vehicle being towed from the scene.
“Many of us tend to underestimate the negative effects associated with fatigue and sleep deprivation and, conversely, overestimate our abilities to overcome them while driving,” said Kathleen Marvaso, vice president, AAA Public Affairs. “This data underscores the importance of educating drivers on the simple, yet effective steps they can take to prevent a possible tragedy. Unfortunately, too many drivers have adopted the ‘I’m tired, but I can make it’ mentality, often to their own peril or to the peril of others.”
Safety advocates urge motorists to get plenty of sleep before taking a long trip, schedule a break every two hours or 100 miles, travel at times when you would normally be awake, and to stay overnight instead of attempting to drive straight through to your destination.
Signs of drowsy driving include:
-Having trouble keeping your eyes opened or focused.
-Trouble keeping your head up.
-Daydreaming or having wandering or disconnected thoughts.
-Drifting out of your lane or tailgating.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a law firm dedicated to representing accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout South Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Port Charlotte and Sebring. Call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-800-283-2900.