February 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Drowsy driving a major safety hazard for young people
For many young people, the ability to function on limited sleep is a badge of honor. Whether it's staying up all night to finish a paper, working a late shift or just hanging out late with friends, burning the candle at both ends is a pretty common part of being a young adult in America.
Of course, keeping up this behavior for too long can start to take a toll on a person's health. However, there is also a short-term danger that many people are not aware of -- even if the driver is sober, getting behind the wheel on limited sleep can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
A lot of the risk comes from the fact that extremely drowsy drivers are apt to fall asleep behind the wheel and cause an accident. Young people are more likely to have this happen to them. In a recent survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one in seven drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 reported falling asleep behind the wheel at some point during the past year, compared with one in 10 drivers across all age groups. The number of drivers who fall asleep while driving may be underreported, since many people who fall asleep for just a second or two don't actually realize that they have nodded off.
Falling asleep behind the wheel isn't the only danger, though. Just like being intoxicated, drowsiness can lead to impaired judgment, poor reaction time and inattention. It can also cause blurry vision and short-term memory problems. All of these factors translate into a heightened risk of being involved in a serious car accident.
The AAA survey revealed that approximately one out of every three drivers reported driving despite "struggling to keep their eyes open" at some point in the last 30 days. Although drowsy driving affects all age groups, AAA reported that, when compared to middle-aged drivers, drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 are 78 percent more likely to have drowsiness as a contributing factor to a car crash.
Preventing drowsy driving accidents
Just as with drunk driving, the only way to prevent car accidents caused by drowsiness is for drivers to take on the personal responsibility to not get behind the wheel when they are at risk of falling asleep or otherwise posing a hazard. If you feel sleepy, either find a different way to get home or take some time to rest before getting in your car. Even a 20 minute nap can make a huge difference.
Drowsy driving is negligent behavior, just like speeding, texting or running red lights. As such, when an accident is caused by a drowsy driver, injured victims may be able to bring personal injury lawsuits to pursue financial compensation for damages including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, talk to a personal injury attorney who can evaluate you case and help you understand your options for moving forward.
Article provided by Menges & McLaughlin, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.yourlawfirmforlife.com/---
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