People who drive while drowsy have caused car accidents that have seriously injured Ohio motorists. In 2015, drowsy driving was the cause for about 5,000 crash-related deaths in the country according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The annual cost for these types of crashes that lead to deaths and injuries is $109 billion in damages, which does not include property damage.
Defining drowsy driving
It is advisable that adult drivers sleep an average of seven hours or more each night according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. Drowsy driving has been compared with drunk driving in that people who go without sleep for 20 hours or more will likely drive like someone who has a blood-alcohol content level of 0.08, which is the country’s legal limit. This puts drivers three times more at risk to be involved in an auto wreck.
Because signs associated with drowsy driving are difficult to identify, some drivers may not even realize they are fatigued. However, highway motorists who experience just a brief five-second micro-sleep will have traveled the distance of a football field without looking at the road. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that some of the symptoms and signs of a drowsy driving are:
• Head nodding
• Lane drifting
• Tendency to miss turns or road signs
• Recurrent yawning
• Eyes closing
• Difficulty in consistently going the speed limit and staying within the lane
Percentages of drivers who drive while drowsy
A study done by the National Sleep Foundation found that nearly 50% of adult U.S. motorists confessed that they consistently drive when they are drowsy. In addition, 40% or more drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving at least once since they began driving, and 20% said they fell asleep while driving during a one-year period.
Legal help for victims of a drowsy driver
Motorists who were injured by a drowsy driver’s actions may want to file a claim for compensation via a personal injury attorney who understands the process. Those who receive awards from such claims may be able to recover restitution for their crash-related medical expenses, income losses and other damages.