Drowsy driving kills, as thousands of grieving families learn every year. Between 2011 and 2015, 4,121 people lost their lives during accidents involving tired drivers across the nation. According to one recent report, the state of Texas leads the nation in fatal accidents caused by drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving most typically happens to the following people:
- Commercial drivers
- Drivers who work late-night shifts
- Drivers with untreated sleep disorders
- Drivers on medication
- People who are regularly sleep-deprived
What the Report Found
The Amerisleep report used data collected from the NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Known as FARS, this system provides nationwide data for fatal car accident information. The system was designed to improve highway safety by increasing awareness of fatal accident causes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 out of 25 drivers fall asleep while behind the wheel each month. The CDC also estimates that the number of deaths caused by drowsy drivers could be even higher than records indicate, amounting to as many as 6,000 fatal crashes each year. Amerisleep found one piece of data that Texas drivers should be concerned about: Texas was the location of 22.1 percent of drowsy driving fatalities in 2016. This means that 1 in 5 drowsing driving fatalities occur in Texas.
Texas doesn’t just have the most fatal accidents caused by drowsy driving—it leads the nation by a considerable margin. The state with the closest amount of deadly accidents is Alabama at 6 percent.
How to Prevent Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is dangerous, but it's preventable. Drivers should ensure that they follow a healthy sleep schedule and get plenty of rest before driving. If you consistently feel tired, even after sleeping, you might have a sleeping disorder. Visiting a doctor for treatment of sleep apnea or other disorders could mean that you will feel more rested and might also save your life! If you are on medication, be sure to check if drowsiness is a common side effect. Most importantly, stopping for rest at the first sign of tiredness is crucial to saving lives.
Symptoms of drowsiness include:
- Excessive yawning
- Frequent blinking
- Heavy eyelids
Together, drivers can prevent deadly accidents by employing safe driving habits. If you or someone you know is struggling after an accident caused by a drowsy driver, call Arnold & Itkin today at (888) 493-1629. Our team has won billions for clients facing some of the most difficult moments of their lives; we're equipped to help you too.