Nearly half of all drivers admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel and 1 in 10 say they have done so in the last year, according to a new study released by the AAA Foundation for Highway Safety.
And 1 in 4 of those admit they have driven in the last month while so tired they could barely keep their eyes open. Our Knoxville, Tennessee car accident lawyers urge you to speak with your family about safe driving habits as we head into the holiday travel season.
“Many of us tend to underestimate the negative effects associated with fatigue and sleep deprivation and, conversely, overestimate our abilities to overcome them while driving,” said Kathleen Marvaso, vice president, AAA Public Affairs. “This data underscores the importance of educating drivers on the simple, yet effective steps they can take to prevent a possible tragedy. Unfortunately, too many drivers have adopted the ‘I’m tired, but I can make it’ mentality, often to their own peril or to the peril of others.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 1 in 6 fatal crashes involve drowsy driving, leading to more than 5,500 traffic deaths each year.
“When you are behind the wheel of a car, being sleepy is very dangerous. Sleepiness decreases awareness, slows reaction time, and impairs judgment, just like drugs or alcohol, contributing to the possibility of a crash,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. “We need to change the culture so that not only will drivers recognize the dangers of driving while drowsy but will stop doing it.”
Safety tips for Tennessee drivers include:
-Get at least six hours of sleep the night before a long trip.
-Stop driving if you become sleepy — a tired driver could fall asleep at any time.
-Travel at a time when you would normally be awake.
-Stay overnight instead of trying to drive all the way through.
-Schedule a break every two hours or 100 miles.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in an accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Maryville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.