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Study of Drivers in Moments Before Crashes Shows Large Number Are Drowsy

the tired driver

Between long hours at work, getting children to and from after-school activities, seeing friends, and maintaining a home, it can feel impossible to get everything done in a day. Many Americans find more room in their schedule by cutting back on an activity that’s critical for health and well-being: sleep. New research shows that sleep deprivation does even more harm than previously understood, in the form of having a noticeable effect on serious car accident rates. Read on to learn about the interaction of drowsiness and serious crashes, and speak with a seasoned Hilo personal injury lawyer with additional questions.

Footage of drivers pre-crash examined

The recent research on drowsy driving was conducted by the AAA Foundation on Traffic Safety, using data collected during the Second Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study. The over-3,500 participants in this study agreed to be videotaped while driving so that researchers could examine a variety of behind-the-wheel habits and their effects on safety. For the drowsy driving research, the AAA Foundation team isolated six seconds of footage immediately preceding the drivers being involved in a crash. The researchers slowed down the footage and calculated how long the drivers spent with their eyes closed during this brief span, which is one objective way of measuring drowsiness.

Research finds far greater involvement of drowsiness than previously reported

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about 1% to 2% of all fatal crashes annually are caused by drowsiness. The AAA Foundation team’s findings, however, found the involvement of drowsiness in crashes to be far greater. Specifically, the researchers found signs of drowsiness in up to 9.5% of all drivers involved in a crash, and up to 10.8% of all crashes that involved major property damage, physical injury, or where the vehicle’s airbags deployed.

Drivers have an obligation to drive safely and should not get behind the wheel when they know they’ll be unsafe on the road. If a driver causes injuries in a crash as the result of driving while drowsy, victims can use evidence of their drowsiness to prove liability for damages. For instance, victims could present eyewitness testimony or security camera footage of the driver nodding off. A skilled injury attorney can assist victims in making these claims.

If you’ve been hurt in a crash with a drowsy driver in Hawaii, get help fighting for the money you’re owed for your claims by contacting the knowledgeable and dedicated Hilo personal injury attorney Louis P. Mendonca for a free consultation at 808-961-6690.

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