"During the past 30 days, have you ever nodded off or fallen asleep, even just for a brief moment, while driving?" Several federal agencies posed this question to random Americans in 19 states and the District of Colombia in 2009 and 2010. Out of the nearly 150,000 responses, 4.2 percent answered with a "yes."
Add this number to the fact that some experts believe that as many as 33 percent of fatal crashes involve drowsy drivers and we have a serious risk factor for fatal car accidents. Among the 19 participating states, Texas had the highest rate. Texans are apparently more likely to fall asleep while driving with 6.1 percent of participants responding that they had done so within the last 30 days.
Some other interesting statistics exist in this report. First, employment status appears to affect how likely a person is to drive while overtired. Employed Americans had a higher rate than other respondents, including retired people, students, homemakers, and unemployed respondents. Retired people were the least likely to fall asleep - with a rate of just 1 percent.
Drowsy driving-related accidents pose some big difficulties for injured victims. Regardless of how tired a driver was before causing a crash, he or she will certainly be wide awake afterwards. This can make it hard for a victim to recognize the possibility that this extremely reckless behavior is to blame for what happened. An experienced car accident lawyer can help discover the true cause of a wreck so that victims can recover the damages to which they are entitled.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Drowsy Driving - 19 States and the District of Colombia, 2009-2010," Jan. 4, 2013
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