Sleepy driving is a quick way to get you into a serious car accident in Naples or elsewhere in Florida. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in our state. Drivers believe they have the will power and the strength to tough through fatigued driving, and the truth is that it’s harder and more dangerous than it may seem.
In an attempt to help combat the occurrence of fatigued driving-related accidents and to help save lives on our roadways, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Department of Transportation is teaming up with a number of state lawmakers and safe driving advocates this month to campaign for Florida’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.
Our Fort Myers car accident attorneys understand that a great number of car accidents in the state of Florida report the involvement of a drowsy driver. Unfortunately, the number is expected to be much higher than statistics report because there is no way to be sure that a driver was drowsy at the time of an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 100,000 accidents a year involve a sleepy driver. These accidents are believed to kill at least 1,500 people each year and cause more than 70,000 injuries. These accidents cause nearly $13 billion in monetary losses every year, too.
To help stop drowsy driving-related car accident, the Ronshay Dugans Act was passed back in 2010. This act, which was sponsored by State Representative Alan Williams of District 8, specifically designates the first week of September as Florida’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.
“Ronshay lost her life after a driver crashed into the bus that she was riding,” said Williams. “Drowsy driving can be eliminated with simple planning and a conscious decision to pull over when you know you are tired.”
The NHTSA reports that these groups face the highest risks for falling asleep at the wheel:
-Drivers ages 16- to 29-years-old. Males are more likely to fall asleep while driving than females in this age group.
-Residents who work irregular hours and workers who oftentimes have their sleeping schedule disrupted by work.
-Drivers who have been diagnosed with narcolepsy or sleep apnea syndrome..
Drivers can follow these simple steps to help prevent a fatigued driving related-accident:
-Get a good night’s sleep before heading out on a road trip. It is recommended to get anywhere from 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
-Bring a friend along. If you feel tired at the wheel, make a switch.
-Schedule in breaks. Drivers should be behind the week for no more than three consecutive hours.
-If you feel tired, pull over and take a break. It does no one any good to power through the symptoms of fatigue.
Drowsy driving greatly impairs your reaction time and your ability to drive safely. Please keep in mind the safety of other motorists, the safety of your passengers and the safety of yourself next time you try to power through some sleepy driving.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, have spent four decades fighting for the rights of accident victims 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.
More Blog Entries:
FMPD Looking to Reduce Risks of Drunk Driving Accidents in Fort Myers over the Labor Day Weekend, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, September 3, 2011
GHSA Steps in to Help Prevent Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Naples and Elsewhere, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 4, 2011