Driver Fatigue and Sleepiness
Auto accidents caused by Drowsy Driving due to Fatigue, Sleepiness and Drowsiness cause substantial Personal Injuries, Disabilities, Fatalities to victims and their families who must be fairly compensated. Don’t Drive Fatigued, Don’t Drive Sleepy. Rest before you drive.
Driver Fatigue and Sleepiness
Driver Fatigue and Sleepiness, A Contributing Factor In Causing Car Wrecks and Auto Crashes and Accidents on Wisconsin Roadways, Can Be Caused By A Number of Factors Including Driver Behavior Patterns, Habits, Routines and Carelessness On The Roadway.
The National Highway and Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) research shows that drowsy driving is a form of impaired driving that negatively affects a persons ability to drive safely. Lack of sleep or sleepiness is the primary cause of such crashes. Furthermore, the research documents several causes which lead to greater chances of driver fatigue and sleepiness crashing including:
Inability To Timely React Compromised Decision-making
Risk Factors For Driver Fatigue and Sleepiness Crashes:
The Use of Sedating Medications
Untreated Sleep Disorders: Sleep Apnea Syndrome and Narcolepsy
Consumption of Alcohol Interacts With Sleepiness To Increase Drowsiness and Impairment
Interactions Among Factors Increase Overall Risk
According to NHTSA’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study (NMVCCS), drowsy drivers involved in a crash are twice as likely to make performance errors as compared to drivers who are not fatigued. In extreme cases, a drowsy driver may fall asleep at the wheel.
The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) research shows that Drowsy driving is a major problem in the United States with alarming results as a result of the risk levels and frequency and levels of accompanying risk. When motorists decide or place themselves in circumstances that subject them to driving while sleepy and fatigued, this deadly cocktail inevitably and quite tragically causes deadly and tragic crash fatalities. Some of the crashes also give rise to permanent injuries, disabilities and debilitating chronic pain and suffering of those traveling on the roadways as passengers, drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists not to mention property damage.
Wisconsin drivers must attend to untreated sleep disorders, exercise prudence when taking potent medications while driving, avoid drinking alcohol, and plan by taking into consideration, their shift work.
Driving Drowsy and Driving Fatigued are significant and substantial causes of crashes often attributed to other causes such as alcohol. According to NHTSA, about one million such crashes annually are thought to be produced by driver inattention/lapses. Sleep deprivation and fatigue make lapses of attention more likely to occur and may play a role in behavior that can lead to crashes attributed to other causes. NHTSA estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
How To Avoid Drowsy Driving
- Get enough sleep
- Do not take prescription narcotics
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Do not work long shifts and drive
- Do not work double shifts if your job is to operate motorized transport
- Seek timely treatment for contributing diseases like Sleep Apnea
Sleep related crashes are most common in young people, especially men, adults with children and shift workers.
How Driver Fatigue and Sleepiness Impact Us
Out of 847 Wisconsin traffic fatalities in 2012, 547 were going straight at the time of the accident. 119 out of 847 were negotiating a curve.
When drowsy drivers doze and eventually fall-asleep at the wheel, their vehicles often at high speeds become errant and uncontrollable because the operator is fast asleep at the steering wheel.
- Leaving the roadway: Police crash reports reflect that the majority of drowsy-driving crashes were single-vehicle roadway departures.
- Crashes occur on High-Speed Roadways: drowsy-driving crashes more often take place on highways and major roadways with speed limits of 55 to 65 mph. Most recently, the 65 MPH limit has been increased to 70 MPH in Wisconsin.
- Failure to take corrective action: Because the operator of the vehicle is either fully asleep or partially asleep, their condition precludes their ability to take corrective action before the crash and to mitigate ensuing damages and losses caused by driving while drowsy.
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