New Hampshire car accidents happen for all kinds of reasons every year—negligence, distracted driving, illicit substances, and bad weather conditions, are only a few examples. An unexpectedly dangerous and common cause of car accidents, however, has also claimed hundreds of lives: drowsy driving has consistently been a significant cause of car accidents and is more common than you think—and could also affect anyone behind the wheel.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving has claimed 795 lives in 2017 alone. Between 2013 and 2017, 4,111 fatalities were recorded that were associated with drowsy driving. When evaluating general motor vehicle crashes involving drowsy driving, 91,000 collisions were recorded in 2017.
Fatigue, which often results in drowsy driving, affects millions of Americans on a daily basis. Whether it is caused by a poor night of sleep, a late shift, or just pure exhaustion, fatigue can be costly and result in negative outcomes. When you operate a vehicle and become drowsy or were drowsy when you got in the car, the consequences can be disastrous. According to NHTSA, fatigue most frequently results in impaired cognition, car crashes, and other significant health-related consequences.
Falling asleep at the wheel, however, is preventable. According to NHTSA officials, eliminating this risky behavior comes down to addressing attitudes about drowsy driving in the first place. First, in a fast-paced society, the emphasis placed on working longer hours, the additional hours spent on our mobile devices and other pieces of technology, and longer commutes result in people not getting the rest they need. A fundamental shift in societal norms is necessary, especially on drowsy driving, to bring more awareness to the issue, NHTSA contends.
Second, preventing drowsy driving is simply not given as much attention as preventing drunk driving or distracted driving. If more emphasis was placed on preventing drowsy driving as it was on reducing driving under the influence or texting while driving, roads would be safer and fatalities could be avoided each year. Drivers must be proactive and take steps towards preventing drowsy driving accidents in the same way they value other road risks. By pulling over on a long drive and getting some sleep or swapping with a passenger if you feel yourself getting drowsy, you could save a life.
Unfortunately, NHTSA estimates of drowsy driving numbers may be even higher than what is reported. Because the provided numbers are estimates, and rely on police and hospital reports to determine the incidence of these accidents, it can be hard to ascertain exact numbers to quantify just how dangerous and widespread the effects of drowsy driving are. There is broad consensus among traffic safety, sleep science, and public health professionals, however, that the current statistics are an underestimate of the true impacts of drowsy driving.
Do You Need a New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney?
If you or someone you know has been recently injured in a New Hampshire car accident where the at-fault party was driving while drowsy, contact the attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. Our firm is made up of talented, driven, and compassionate attorneys who have represented all types of personal injury victims and will work to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation today, contact us at 800-804-2004.