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Drowsy Drivers Cause Injuries | MA Personal Injury lawyer

Everyone should be aware of the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol in Massachusetts (MA). However, many people do not realize the similarly dangerous risks of driving while impaired by fatigue. Like drunk drivers, so-called “drowsy drivers” can have significantly slowed reaction time, impaired instinct and judgment, confusion and disorientation, and a lack of awareness of the road and surrounding traffic conditions. For these reasons, drowsy driving can lead to serious auto collisions and devastating injuries.

Facts about drowsy driving

The seriousness of the drowsy driving issue may be surprising to many motorists and the following are some statistics reported by Drowsydriving.org and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • 60 percent of adult drivers reported driving while drowsy in the past year.
  • More than one-third of adult drivers reported actually falling asleep while driving in the past year.
  • About 11 million drivers admitted having a near-accident or accident because of fatigue or due to nodding off behind the wheel.
  • An estimated 100,000 collisions or more result from drowsy driving on an annual basis.
  • These crashes result in about 71,000 injuries, more than 1,500 fatalities, and cost motorists more than $12.5 billion.

The above statistics are only based on admitted drowsy driving, as many more accidents may occur for this reason and the drowsy driver may not be discovered.

Common situations involving drowsy driving

While drowsy driving in Massachusetts can occur at any time, the following situations commonly result in the risk of driver fatigue:

  • Commercial truck drivers – Truck drivers often spend many consecutive hours and days on the road and can easily become fatigued, which can lead to drowsy driving if they are not careful.
  • Road trips – Road trips can be a risk for drowsy driving especially if a driver is not used to driving long distances and does not recognize the signs of fatigue.
  • Holidays – The holidays can be busy and stressful can result in fatigue, which can impair a driver’s abilities and lead to accidents.

 

References:

1http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/

2http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/drowsy_driving1/Drowsy.html

By Matt Dolman, Esq Dolman Law Group

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