Too many tired drivers get behind the wheel and cause car accidents
When we think of bad driving behaviors, drunk driving, texting and driving, and recklessly driving over the speed limit may come to mind.
But one of the most dangerous bad driving behaviors isn't getting the attention it deserves. Falling asleep at the wheel or drowsy driving car accidents are common.
The problem is more serious in Georgia, which recently ranked 5th on a national list of the most dangerous states for drowsy drivers.
If you've driven in Georgia lately, this news may not be a surprise.
For example, a McDuffie County Sheriff's deputy was transported to the hospital in late October after a driver, who allegedly fell asleep at the wheel, crashed into the rear of their patrol car.
The cruiser was stopped behind a disabled commercial vehicle on I-20 when it was hit.
Drowsy driving is negligent driving
Everyone gets tired. And many people can sympathize with sleepy drivers. However, all drivers owe others a duty of care to safely operate their motor vehicles. Regardless of the reason, it is illegal for motorists to drive if they are not physically or mentally capable of safe driving.
Drowsy driving is not safe. According to some researchers, the risk of causing a crash is so great that getting behind the wheel after 20 hours or more without sleep is equivalent to drunk driving.
Drowsy driving facts
Georgia ranked among the most dangerous states for drowsy driving in a survey based on County Health Ranking data.
Researchers assessed risk by analyzing sleep patterns and traffic deaths in each state. The 2022 survey concluded the following about Georgia:
- Overall, Georgia experienced 7,750 traffic deaths in 2021.
- About 38 percent of Georgians don't get enough sleep.
- For every 100,000 residents, the motor vehicle death rate is 10.4 percent.
A lot of research has gone into fatigued driving. For example, national drowsy driving statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and AAA show that:
- About 1 out of every 25 drivers has admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel.
- The majority of drowsy driving accidents happen between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. or in the late afternoon.
- You are three times more likely to get into a crash if you drive drowsy.
- Every year, drowsy driving is responsible for an estimated 100,000 traffic accidents. This includes 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths.
Learn your potential legal options
Fatigued driving is negligent driving.
When someone else's recklessness causes an accident, injury, or death, the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C., fights to hold them liable to victims.
We have recovered millions of dollars in damages for injured Georgia accident victims and the families of fatal crash victims. That's because our Atlanta car accident attorneys have years of experience and understand what it takes to build winning cases.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
At no cost to you, a member of our team can explain how the law applies to your situation, estimate the value of your claim, answer your crash-related legal questions, and help weigh your options for compensation.