Our Boston auto accident attorneys believe that understanding the causes of car accidents in Massachusetts is very important so that people can be aware of risky driving practices and can modify their behavior. There are a lot of common car accident causes that get attention, including drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving or using a cell phone. Recently, however, one other very dangerous driving behavior has been making headlines: drowsy driving.
The dangers of drowsy driving are well-established, but new studies are demonstrating just how widespread the problem of fatigued driving is. Since a drowsy driver who is driving after having been awake for 20-21 hours can present just as much of a risk as a driver with a BAC of .08, it is essential that people become aware of the dangers of drowsy driving and make a commitment to refrain from engaging in this risky behavior.
The Frightening Statistics on Drowsy Driving
To some, it may not seem as if drowsy driving is a big problem. After all, you may wonder how many people on the road are actually tired enough that it could make a difference in whether they drive safely. The unfortunate answer is that there are many drowsy drivers on the road and they are putting every single other driver, pedestrian, motorcycle rider and bicyclist at risk.
For many reasons, it is difficult to tell exactly how many drowsy drivers are on the road at any one time. There is no test to determine if a driver is fatigued, for one thing, so a driver who gets into a crash because he was nodding off may not be forthcoming about that information with the police. Another problem is that people may not even be aware of how tired they are or of the fact that they close their eyes as they drive, so it is difficult to get an accurate count of how many people actually fall asleep behind the wheel.
Despite the challenges of getting accurate answers on drowsy driving, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently undertook an ambitious project designed to get more data on drowsy drivers. The CDC interviewed more than 147,000 adults all across the United States. They conducted a telephone survey with people living in 19 different states and in DC and, according to Boston.com, the study is the largest of its kind ever to tackle the drowsy driving issue.
The CDC found out some important information in their survey. For instance, they found out that those aged 18-44 were more likely than elderly drivers over 65 to be fatigued as they drove. They also found out that men, more so then women, tended to be drowsy drivers. The most important information the CDC discovered, however, is that around 1 out of every 24 drivers had fallen asleep driving during the 30-day period before they answered the survey questions.
Think about these figures and consider the number of drivers in Boston. Now imagine that one in 24 of those drivers is dozing off. When you consider this, it quickly becomes clear just how frightening drowsy driving is and just how much danger it presents to Boston drivers. You can try to protect yourself by making sure you never drive drowsy, but you remain at risk if others don't make the same choice. This is why it is always important to pay attention to what other drivers are doing, and why it is always important to take legal action against drowsy drivers so that they face the consequences of what they've done.
If you've been injured, call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for a free consultation with one of the personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone.