Drowsy Driving an Increasingly Recognized Threat

Drivers who get insufficient sleep or are still drowsy from taking sleep aids are putting themselves and others at risk for a crash. Various government studies stated that between 1% and 2% of all car crashes involve drowsy driving, but a 2018 AAA study estimated that the percentage is higher at 9.5%. Unfortunately, many drivers in Connecticut and elsewhere do not realize that drowsiness can impair them just as much as drugs or alcohol.

Lack of sleep is known to diminish one’s concentration, judgment, vision and reflexes. The reason why drowsy driving is an underreported phenomenon, though, is that tiredness is hard to detect. In most cases, all that the police can rely on is driver testimony, and people often lie in an effort to avoid being blamed for a crash.

The AAA study was unique in that it analyzed dashcam footage of drivers before they were actually involved in a crash. Researchers looked at 3,593 drivers in all, measuring the percentage of time they spent with their eyes closed.

Drivers, for their part, should sleep at least seven hours every night. On long trips, it’s a good idea to have someone else to drive for a while. Every two hours or 100 miles, drivers should take a break. Caffeinated beverages may also help, but only temporarily.

Drowsy driving is especially an issue among truckers due to their long hours. Trucking accidents can often cause serious injuries to those in passenger vehicles. Individuals who survive such an accident may be able to file a personal injury claim against the trucking company and be reimbursed for their damages, including medical bills, rehabilitative care, lost wages and any diminished capacity to earn a living. The first step they might want to take is to consult a lawyer.