A recent study by AAA looking at the problem of drowsy driving has garnered some surprising results. The study and its results reveal that crashes occurring as a result of fatigue/sleepy drivers are eight times more prevalent than previous estimates produced by federal agencies have indicated. The large disparity between the results of the new AAA study and prior analysis of government officials can be explained by a different approach taken by AAA.
The sobering drowsy driving stats
In the February 2018 AAA report entitled, “Estimating the Prevalence and Crash Risk of Drowsy Driving,” some startling statistics are revealed. These include:
- Virtually all drivers (some 96%) consider drowsy driving a large problem. However, the same time 29% admit that within the last month that they have operated a motor vehicle while having difficulty keeping their eyes open.
- About 35% of motorists in the U.S. get less than the seven hours of minimum recommended sleep per day.
- Losing even two or three hours of sleep can increase your risk of being involved in a drowsy driving accident by more than 400%.
The study’s approach
Prior to the AAA study, previous statistics were gathered from motorist statements and police reports. The AAA study evaluated dashboard camera video footage taken from over 700 crashes. Specifically, it looked at the drivers’ eyes and the amount of time they were drooping or closed in the moments in seconds before a crash. Using a scientific formula that correlates the level of eye closure as a percentage to the individual’s level of sleepiness, they discovered that 9.5% of all vehicle crashes result from drowsy driving. This estimate far exceeds previous federal government estimates that indicated only 1-2% of car accidents involved sleepy drivers.
New technology offers hope
Technological advancements are now enabling car manufacturers to install safety features and vehicles that have the potential to significantly reduce the number of drowsy driving car wrecks each year. Examples of these innovations include:
- Automatic emergency brakes that engage when the system senses an impending accident
- Collision warning systems that notify drivers of approaching obstacles – they sound an alarm when the vehicle approaches within a particular distance
- Lane departure alarms that sound when the vehicle moves crosses over into an adjacent lane
At Plaxen & Adler, P.A. we understand the physical and financial devastation you may be facing right now in the aftermath of your injuries due to a car crash caused by another party. Our experienced Maryland car accident attorneys are here to provide you with skilled and vigorous representation to help you recover financially what you are owed. We fight for you from start to finish in order to achieve the most favorable outcome possible on your behalf. To get started with a free case evaluation, give us a call today at 410.988.4449 or send us a message through our convenient contact form.