How bad is the country’s drowsy driving problem?

The AAA Foundation released a study that stresses the dangers of drowsy driving. Many people admitted to having driven sleepy in a recent poll.

Every day, countless people across the country get behind the wheel despite not having had enough sleep the night before. With school starting soon, it is more important than ever for residents in Connecticut and elsewhere to avoid driving while drowsy, which may prevent accidents involving pedestrians and others on the road.

Who is at risk of being in a drowsy driving accident?

Anyone who drives on little sleep can be at risk of causing an accident. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain groups are more likely to cause sleep-related motor vehicle collisions than others. These include truck drivers, those who work late hours, people who regularly do not get adequate sleep and those who take sedating medications.

A recent report by the AAA Foundation confirms the above points. According to USA Today, the report, which was released in August, estimated that 328,000 accidents every year can be attributed to drowsy driving. Out of these, about 6,400 people are killed. Respondents to the AAA survey revealed that 43.2 percent of drivers said they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point. Additionally, 31.5 percent admitted they had driven while seriously tired during the past month.

Woman may have fallen asleep on the road in Derby, injured in crash

An accident that occurred in Derby last March showed how unexpectedly a drowsy driving accident can occur, as well as how dangerous one can be on a high-speed road. The Valley Independent Sentinel reported that a woman was in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer after her car crossed into oncoming traffic. The woman was injured, although she was conscious and able to talk to authorities while rescue workers removed her from her vehicle. She admitted that she did not have adequate sleep the previous night, and she believed she might have fallen asleep behind the wheel because she did not remember what happened prior to the accident.

The National Sleep Foundation points out that sleep-deprived driving can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Those who regularly get less than five hours of sleep are four to five times more likely of being in a crash as those who sleep eight hours or more. Drinking coffee, turning up the radio and blasting the air conditioner may give a driver a temporary jolt of alertness, but are not a safe alternative for getting a full night's sleep before getting behind the wheel.

Those who are injured by a drowsy or negligent driver may have questions as to whether they are eligible for compensation. It may be helpful at this time to contact an experienced Southington personal injury attorney.