The Johnson Law Firm, LLC

Drowsy driving found to be a major factor in car accidents

Missourians are keenly aware of the common dangers on the road today. That includes distracted drivers, drivers who are operating their vehicles under the influence, and the ever-present inexperienced and reckless drivers. However, one issue that can be just as dangerous is a drowsy driver. One study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study shows that drowsy driving is a major problem - more of an issue than it was believed to be in the past.

In AAA's research, more than 3,500 people were monitored from October 2010 to December 2013. Cameras were placed inside their vehicles. Other equipment was also used. There were 701 accidents the researchers studied and drowsy driving was deemed to be a factor in up to 9.5 percent. Drowsiness was considered a factor in nearly 11 percent of the accidents in which property was damaged, airbags deployed and people were injured.

This information contradicts U.S. government research that says only 1 to 2 percent of car accidents were caused by drowsy driving. Because the government statistics come from police reports after an investigation and crash reconstruction has taken place, it is difficult to determine exactly how many of the accidents were because of a drowsy driver, since it relies on the drivers admitting that they were tired or fell asleep.

This study was the first one to measure the percentage of time a person's eyes were closed to gauge how drowsy the driver was. Even with that, it is difficult to know how great a role drowsiness played in a car crash. People who are lacking in sleep when behind the wheel can be as impaired as drivers who are under the influence. The less sleep a driver has, the worse it becomes.

After a car accident, there are many different problems that can affect those involved. With injuries, there can be an extended hospital stay, medical expenses, missed time at work and the need for long-term care. When there is a fatality, the family must consider how they will move forward without their family member. If it was due to a drowsy driver, this can be an important factor in a case. A legal filing can help the victim receive compensation. Calling an attorney who understands how to pursue litigation after motor vehicle accidents is the first step toward filing a case.

Source: kctv5.com, "Study: Drowsy driving is a factor in almost 10 percent of crashes," Zoe Brown, Feb. 8, 2018

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