Drowsy Driving is a Deadly Decision

driving carDrowsy driving is one of the fastest growing causes of vehicular accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy drivers may be responsible for up to 1.2 million crashes every year. The agency further estimates that these accidents result in 71,000 injuries and as many as 7,000 fatalities.

“A driver who is tired is one who is not fully alert. Drowsiness makes it difficult for drivers to focus on driving and slows their reaction time down. This creates a deadly mix that makes it impossible for drivers to avoid collisions,” remarked Wheeling car accident attorney Scott J. Orzoff.

Commercial truck drivers, night shift workers, and drivers on medications are the most likely to drive while drowsy. These are followed by drivers who have untreated sleep disorders, and drivers who simply fail to get enough rest.

To counter driver fatigue, companies such as Volvo and Mercedes install Attention Assist systems that “wake drivers up” should they exhibit signs of drowsiness. However, such systems are not common on most passenger or commercial vehicles. This means that most drivers have to rely on their own judgment to determine when they are too tired to drive.

“Drowsy driving is not against the law in the Illinois. However, a driver who is involved in an accident and found to be “sleepy behind the wheel” can be charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment, and if a fatality is involved, negligent homicide,” commented Wheeling car accident attorney Scott J. Orzoff.

Drivers are encouraged to pay attention to their own level of alertness while driving and to pull over and rest if they believe they are too tired to drive. Signs of being too tired to drive include frequent yawning, difficulty focusing on the road, and drifting from the driving lanes and hitting rumble strips.

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