Driver Fatigue and Auto Accidents - Just as Bad as Drunk Driving?

We know that drivers can be distracted in many ways - it might be that a driver was on their phone, paying too much attention to other hand-held devices, like tablets or a GPS, dealing with rowdy and restless passengers, or something else. Even changing the radio is a driving distraction. No matter the distraction, distracted drivers on our roads pose a risk, and a recent report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows exactly how much of a risk.

Although some may know the dangers of driving sleepy, many may not know how dangerous it is to drive fatigued. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a study that shows that drivers who are sleep-deprived are just as dangerous on the road as drivers who drive drunk.    

In fact, the AAA study shows that drivers who miss two to three hours or more of sleep more than quadruple their risk of getting a crash. Jake Nelson, AAA's director for traffic safety and advocacy and research, shares that one in five crashes where someone loses a life was the result of a driver driving fatigued as reported by CBS news

But, what to do about fatigued driving on our roads?

Maryland has taken action against distracted driving on our roads, by enacting stricter laws as punishment, and OSHA - the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - has been calling on employers to work to get the number of distracted drivers down. Read more about OSHA's work here. 

What else can we do at the ground level? 

There's not much to do other than get the recommended 7 hours of sleep at night before driving - especially for those that work in the transportation industry. The AAA also recommends that passengers stay alert and offer to take over the wheel from a driver who is fatigued. Although these small acts will help, drivers will still drive while fatigued, on their cell phone, texting, or drunk - and crashes will occur. 

Were you seriously hurt in an accident that was not your fault and the other driver was distracted? Need help paying for the injuries from the accident and not sure where to start? Call our office at 202-393-3320 to speak with an attorney today. You can even order online our FREE and informative e-book on auto accidents in D.C., Maryland and Virginia,- it gives the basics of what to do after an accident in the DMV area to protect yourself and your family. 

 

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