Researchers Discover High Rate of Crashes Caused by Drowsy Drivers

- Samuel Kane

Drunken driving is not the only sort of impairment that makes drivers a danger on US roadways. While seemingly less morally wrong than driving drunk, driving while drowsy can have just as dangerous or deadly results. A recent study from a team at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows just how big a threat that under-rested drivers can pose when out on the road. Read on to learn more about the threats of drowsy driving, and contact a knowledgeable New Mexico personal injury attorney if you’ve been hurt in a drowsy driving crash.

Video footage of drivers provides opportunity to measure drowsiness prior to a crash

Drowsy driving isn’t always easy to uncover as the cause of a crash. Drowsiness can disappear in a moment, and drivers can’t be chemically tested by law enforcement for sleepiness. Official federal statistics place the annual rate of crashes caused by drowsiness at between 1% and 2%. In order to discover whether these statistics are accurate, AAA Foundation researchers used video footage taken of drivers to study how often drivers appeared to be drowsy when they were involved in a crash. The research team used video footage taken during a study of over-3,000 participating drivers who had agreed to be filmed while they were behind the wheel. Specifically, the researchers looked at the six seconds of video footage taken before a participating driver was involved in a crash. They slowed this footage down and measured how much time the driver spent with his or her eyes closed (an established scientific method for measuring drowsiness).

Drowsy drivers cause troubling share of crashes

According to the AAA Foundation’s findings, between 9% and 9.6% of all crashes involved a driver who showed symptoms of drowsiness in the moments before the crash. Moreover, about 10% of all accidents that involved personal injuries or major property damage involved a drowsy driver. These findings support other recent research that found drivers who had gotten less than seven hours’ sleep to be much less safe behind the wheel. Drivers who choose to get on the road while drowsy and are responsible for causing injury accidents may be held liable in court for their role in a crash.

If you’ve been injured in a New Mexico crash with a drowsy driver, get skilled and dedicated legal help with recovering the money you’re owed by contacting the knowledgeable and effective Las Cruces personal injury lawyer Samuel N. Kane for a free consultation at 575-526-5263.