According to information from the Department of Energy, the average vehicle in the U.S. weighs right at two tons. This means there is 4,000 pounds of rubber, metal and gasoline speeding down the highways across the country. In the best circumstances, driving a vehicle will be the most dangerous thing a person does each day. However, if the person happens to get behind they wheel while sleepy or drowsy, the danger of the simple action is magnified significantly.
Drowsy Driver Accidents: An Under Reported Occurrence
The NHTSA has reported that even though cases of drowsy driving are hard to identify as the cause of a car accident, approximately 40,000 individuals suffer injuries are suffered each year because of drowsy driving, while more than 1,550 die.
Unfortunately, the NHTSA also believes that drowsy driving is a much bigger problem than what evidence shows.
Drowsy Driving Car Accidents: Testing, Reporting and the Contributing Factors
Part of the issue related to identifying accidents that occur because of drowsy drivers is that there is no test to determine if this was the case. Unlike cases of drunk driving, you can’t use a machine to see if a driver is behind the wheel while being sleepy.
Additionally, there isn’t a standard set of practices for reporting cases of drowsy driving from one state to the other. Even though accident statistics from all the states accounts for fatigued or drowsy driving info, many police officers are not trained properly to identify cases of driver fatigue.
Additionally, there are quite a few inconsistencies in regard to state codes that address fatigued or drowsy drivers. For example, Missouri is one of only two states that doesn’t have any code to address drivers who wind up falling asleep while they are behind the wheel or who cause an accident because they are drowsy or fatigued.
The Sobering Numbers of International Drowsy Driving Vehicle Accidents
There is quite a bit of data out there that indicates the issue of drowsy driving may be more of a contributing factor to car accidents than many people know or believe. In fact, in several countries in Europe, such as England and Finland, there is more information on these types of accidents. In fact, the statistics show that fatigued and drowsy drivers are the cause of 10 to 30 percent of all the accidents on the road. If these numbers were representative of accidents in the U.S. it means that drowsy drivers are causing between 500,000 and 1.6 million accidents every year.
If you are involved in an accident, and believe the other driver was operating their vehicle while drowsy or fatigued, you should speak with a personal injury attorney. They can gather the evidence needed to help prove your case and help you acquire the compensation you deserve for the damages and injuries you suffered.