The Chicago Sun-Times reported today on a new survey that explains the prevalence of drivers who are asleep while on the road. As the report indicates, sleepiness while driving is an underappreciated problem-drunk driving and distracted driving issues dominate many more headlines. However, the problem is truly hard to underestimated as the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety claims that drowsy drivers are responsible for one in six fatal crashes, and one in eight crashes leading to hospitalization
Nearly 41% of drivers admit to nodding off at some point in their lives while driving, with 10% of those happening within the past year. Men and young drivers were most likely to report drowsy driving, and the occurrences are just as common in the afternoon as the middle of the night.
The problem may stem in part from increasing work hours leading to less sleep time on average for most drivers. Experts consistently find that even adults need around 8 hours a sleep per night. Many people think that they can get by on less, but they suffer the physical consequences nonetheless.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti urge all drivers to take more time to consider their level of alertness every time that they get behind the wheel-whether for a short trip or a longer commute. It is often difficult for individuals to recognize their own drowsy symptoms.
One of the study’s experts explains, “So many people don’t realize how tired they actually are. They overestimate their ability to power through.”
Do your part to ensure you do not drive while drowsy. Common corrections include ensuring that you get enough sleep, scheduling driving breaks while on long trips, traveling at times when you are normally awake, and stopping the moment you find yourself sleepy.