Study further reveals risks of drowsy driving for Florida motorists
Many drivers in Lee County, Florida, appreciate the risk that drunk or distracted drivers pose, but they give little thought to another widespread problem: drowsy driving.
February 05, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Study further reveals risks of drowsy driving for Florida motorists
Article provided by Parvey & Frankel Attorneys, P.A.
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Many drivers in Lee County, Florida, appreciate the risk that drunk or distracted drivers pose, but they give little thought to another widespread problem: drowsy driving. Unfortunately, drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 car accidentsannually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and this figure may not even accurately represent the scale of the problem.
A recent University of Pennsylvania study offered further insight into how little it takes to raise the risk of drowsy driving. It is important for Florida drivers to understand this danger so that they can be careful of their own habits and recognize the risk that other drivers may present.
The study made use of results from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is the world's largest telephone survey, according to a press release on the University of Pennsylvania website. The study found that people who were sleeping less than 8 hours a day were significantly more likely to report driving drowsy, even if they reported feeling like they were well-rested or receiving enough sleep.
People didn't have to be running on extremely short sleep schedules to feel the effects of exhaustion, either. People who slept less than 6 hours were twice as likely as people who slept 7 hours to report drowsy driving. People who slept less than 5 hours had almost 4 times the risk. Although it's obvious that sleeping less raises the risk of feeling tired or drifting off during daytime activities, many people may not realize that a difference of just an hour or two can make an important difference.
Drowsy driving facts
Consistent statistics on drowsy driving can be difficult to find. Unlike establishing that someone was driving drunk or talking on the phone at the time of an accident, proving that someone fell asleep at the wheel can be difficult. The following statistics may actually underrepresent the problem:
-On its website, the NHTSA reports that drowsy driving contributes to 1,550 traffic deaths annually.
-According to the same source, more than 40,000 people sustain injuriesyearly in drowsy driving accidents.
-The University of Pennsylvania press release cites federal data that drowsy driving may contribute to up to 33 percent of fatal car accidents.
-According to a Florida Department of Transportation press release, 37 percent of Americans admitted to falling asleep while driving in an NHTSA study.
Drowsy driving crashes are often serious crashes that occur during afternoons, late nights or early mornings, according to the same Florida DOT press release. They often involve just one vehicle, but of course, a driver who nods off and veers or fails to slow down could also cause significant harm to the occupants of another vehicle.
Although the exact extent of drowsy driving in the U.S. is not known, the recent study indicates that even a few hours of lost sleep can significantly increase the risk of nodding off behind the wheel. Even people who feel rested may be in danger, which makes it important for drivers to recognize this risk and act carefully.
If you or any of your loved ones have been hurt in an accident that you believe another driver caused, you should speak with an attorney about compensation that you may be entitled to.
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