According to a recent article on Money News, as many as 70 million Americans may suffer from some type of sleep problem that prevents them from getting a solid night of shut-eye. These millions of Americans face a lot of health problems as a result of not sleeping right, and unfortunately some of these drowsy individuals are even putting other people at risk as well.
Driving while fatigued is a growing problem in the United States. Our Greenville injury lawyers continue to be concerned about the large number of drivers who are nodding off behind the wheel. We urge every driver to just say no to driving while they are tired. We also urge every person on the road to take note of the results of a new CDC study reported on by the New York Times. The study serves as a cautionary tale, reminding all drivers to be on the lookout for someone on the road who is nodding off and who presents a danger to himself or others.
CDC Study Shows Drowsy Driving is a Serious Problem
It comes as no surprise that drowsy driving has become a hot button issue. In 2009, there were 730 deadly car wrecks that involved a fatigued driver. With hundreds of reported deaths, the CDC decided to conduct a large-scale survey to determine just how many people were actually driving while they were too tired to be safe.
The survey took the form of a detailed questionnaire in which people from 19 states and Washington D.C. were asked to report on their work habits, sleeping habits and driving habits. There were 147,000 adults interviewed in total and the results indicated that:
- 4.2 percent of those responding to the survey had dozed off while driving in the 30 days before answering the survey questions.
- Men were more likely than women to be drowsy drivers.
- The young were more likely than old to be drowsy drivers. Those in the 18-44 group, for example, had drowsy driving rates topping out over 5 while only 1.7 percent of drivers 65 and up reported fatigue behind the wheel.
These survey results show that a lot of people are driving drowsy; four percent of all drivers is, after all, millions of drivers.
Curbing the Drowsy Driving Problem
As reported in the New York Times, the survey on drowsy driving also revealed that people who snored or who had sleep troubles were more likely to nod off while driving than those who did not have such issues.
This finding underscores the importance of providing proper medical assistance to people who are suffering from challenges with sleeping.
Fortunately, it seems that more assistance is available to people than in the past and that more people are seeking it out. As Money News reported, for example, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited its 2,500th sleep center in December of 2012. There are now twice as many sleep centers as there were just a decade ago.
People who are nodding off behind the wheel and who are tired because of a sleep problem outside of their control would be well-advised to take advantage of the diagnostic and supportive services provided by a sleep center. If those who are struggling with staying awake seek and receive help, hopefully there will be fewer people falling asleep on the roads and causing drowsy driving crashes.
If you or a loved one is injured in a drowsy driving accident, contact Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid. Fee is a percentage of recovery – Cases costs are additional.
Fall Accidents, Premises Liability & Risks Among Older Adults, By Grimes Teich Anderson, LLP, Nov 1, 2012.