A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report reveals that 41 percent drivers admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel, with one-in-10 saying they had done so in the past year. For Fort Collins injury attorneys, drowsy driving is a completely avoidable situation; and, one unfortunately linked to at least 800 traffic fatalities and more than 30,000 car accident injuries across the United States in 2009.
In fact, AAA reports that while almost all drivers– 96 percent–say drowsy driving is unacceptable, 32 percent admit to driving even though ‘they had difficulty keeping their eyes open’ within the last month. One AAA study found that one-in-six fatal car accidents and one-in-eight serious car accidents involved a drowsy driver.
While everything from lifestyle to obesity can be linked to driver fatigue, the National Safety Council reports that alcohol, cars packed with mind-numbing creature comforts, dull landscapes, and smooth, straight highways are major contributors to awakening a drowsy driving epidemic.
Last March, ABC World News reported 50-70 million American adults suffer chronic sleep disorders, leading to a more troubling observation — those nights of unrest equal daytime nodding off. More often than not, that nodding off happens behind the wheel.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that across the state, more than 26 percent of Colorado adults said they didn’t get enough sleep for 14 of the last 30 days. Colorado women were more likely than men to report insufficient sleep, with 28 percent of females and 24 percent of males admitting to poor sleep. Other interesting sleepless-in-Colorado statistics include:
~ the most sleepless–at 32.9 percent–are Coloradoans aged 25-34,
~ more (32 percent) unmarried partners report lack of sleep than their married counterparts (24.8 percent), and
~ 26.4 percent of employed people experience insufficient sleep compared to 32.9 percent of those unemployed and 51 percent of those unable to work.
The U.S. Department of Transportation offers a driver-fatigue quiz and safety tips to help motorists avoid driving while drowsy. They include:
~ Don’t drive tired. Period.
~ Don’t skip meals.
~ Take frequent breaks. Sometimes even a 20-minute nap can help.
~ Don’t take medications that will make you drowsy before driving.
~ Know when you are getting tired. Stop.
If your loved one has died as a result of a Fort Collins traffic accident, call Fort Collins injury attorney Steve Shanahan today to schedule a free consultations at (970) 204-9999.