There are many dangers on Pennsylvania roadways, and drivers should be aware of them. The most common causes of motor vehicle accidents include driving under the influence, driving while distracted and driving recklessly. Another dangerous issue that is often unreported is drowsy driving. When there is a collision with injuries and fatalities, it is important to consider the possibility that a driver was drowsy.
A recent survey of more than 2,000 participants indicates that drowsy driving is a growing concern. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 45% admitted to having trouble staying awake when driving. This coincides with research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showing that an average of 328,000 crashes with 6,400 fatalities happen annually.
Drowsy driving can impact a driver in much the same way as drunk driving. Reaction time is reduced, and decision-making is hindered. Suggestions to avoid drowsy driving range from getting enough sleep to not driving alone or driving when it is late. Long trips are especially risky, and drivers are advised to share the driving duties. People frequently drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks to stay awake. They might open the windows or make the radio very loud, but these tactics have limited effectiveness.
Signs that drivers are drowsy include yawning, eyes closing, nodding off, missing signs, tailgating, entering other lanes and driving on the shoulder of the road. When there is an auto accident, there could be medical expenses, lost wages and long-term injuries. People might suffer fatal injuries in motor vehicle accidents. When seeking compensation, it is important to understand the cause of the wreck. If drowsy driving was a factor, this can be key. A lawyer experienced in auto accidents may be able to help with investigating the case and filing a lawsuit.