September 1 through 8 is Florida’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. The week is dedicated to Ronshay Dugans, an 8 year old girl who was tragically killed by a drowsy driver.
We all know drowsy driving is dangerous. But how dangerous is it?
How dangerous is drowsy driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s drowsy driving statistics are alarming. The NHTSA reported:
- There were over 91,000 drowsy driving accidents in 2017;
- 795 people died from drowsy driving accidents in 2017; and,
- 4,111 people died from drowsy driving accidents between 2013 and 2017.
Drowsy driving is, in fact, nearly as dangerous as driving drunk. An Australian study illustrated this point.
The study showed that being awake for 18 hours was similar to having a .05 blood alcohol content. Being awake for 24 hours was similar to having a .10 blood alcohol content.
By comparison, Florida law prohibits driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.
So you can see the clear dangers of driving drowsy.
How many people drive drowsy?
According to a National Sleep Foundation study, 60% of drivers admitted to driving drowsy. Additionally, 37% admitted to falling asleep.
This is scary stuff!
What causes drowsy driving?
There are several causes of drowsy driving. The most common are:
- Sleep deprivation;
- Sleep loss (e.g., insomnia, poor quality sleep, and sleep debt);
- Long-distance driving without breaks;
- Driving through the night;
- Driving alone;
- Medications that cause drowsiness; and,
- Working excessive hours.
How can you prevent drowsy driving?
The best way is to get adequate sleep. Here are some additional tips:
- Do not drink alcohol before driving, even small amounts;
- Avoid medications that cause drowsiness before driving;
- Take a friend on long road trips;
- Take regular, consistent breaks; and,
- Consult your doctor if you have a sleep disorder, or health issues that cause drowsy driving.
Call Barthelette Law, Your Boca Raton Personal Injury Attorney
If you were involved in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, don’t hesitate to call. We are here to answer all of your questions.
We are Barthelette Law, your Boca Raton personal injury attorney!