February 16, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Survey finds teens at high risk for drowsy driving
Article provided by Browning Law
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When you were young, your parents likely stressed the importance of a good night's rest, as sleep can improve your ability to concentrate on life's daily tasks. Unfortunately, not everyone has heeded this sage advice, according to a recent survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and are engaging in drowsy driving--a type of distracted driving.
Teens in particular are at risk of driving while drowsy. According to the survey, at least one in seven drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 admitted to nodding off while behind the wheel at least once in the past year. This compares with one in 10 among drivers of all age groups within the same time.
The results of this study confirm the findings of earlier studies. In 2010, AAA estimated that younger drivers (16 to 24) were 78 percent more likely than older drivers (over 40) to be drowsy at the time of a motor vehicle accident.
Teenagers' propensity to drive while drowsy has been identified since the mid-1990s. At this time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that young people were the most likely to be involved in car accidents caused by falling asleep. According to experts, teenagers' elevated likelihood of distracted driving is caused by lifestyle factors that do not allow them to get enough sleep: schoolwork demands, extracurricular activities and socializing late at night.
Although teens are a high at-risk group for drowsy driving, they are not the only group. According to a federal study, night-shift workers and workers who change job shifts are also at high risk for drowsy driving, regardless of age. Additionally, other studies suggest that all age groups who slept fewer than six hours per day were over twice as likely to engage in drowsy driving.
Experts advise drivers to be aware of the symptoms of drowsiness--frequent yawning or blinking, drifting outside the lane or driving on the shoulder of the road. If a driver encounters these symptoms, the only thing that works is to get off the road and rest. Turning up the air-conditioner, radio or opening the car windows are not effective ways to combat drowsiness.
Costs of drowsy driving
According to the NHTSA statistics, drowsy driving caused about 2.5 percent of fatal car accidents and 2 percent of non-fatal accidents nationwide. However, as many states do not keep statistics on drowsy driving accidents like they do for alcohol-related accidents, that number is likely higher. Additionally, the NHTSA's research suggests that drowsy driving accidents are more likely to result in injury or death than other types of car accidents.
In addition to putting themselves at an increased risk of injury or death, drowsy drivers who cause an accident can legally be held liable for their negligent actions. Under Idaho law, those who are injured by drowsy drivers are entitled to recover damages for medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages, among other things. If you or a loved one has been injured by an inattentive driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about your right to compensation.---
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