As we recently reported on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, the risks of car accident are expected to increase as we finish up 2011. Kids will be getting out of school for winter break, visitors will be flocking to the city and residents will be venturing out on holiday vacations. Adding snowy and ice roadways to these conditions makes matters even worse. With all of the holiday vacations planned, we can expect there to be some exhausted drivers on our roadways.
Our Chicago car accident lawyers would like to talk with you about Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. This is a week-long campaign that is put on by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the National Sleep Foundation. This week-long campaign aims to educate and raise awareness in drivers about the dangers of fatigued driving. Drowsy drivers contribute to one out of every six fatal accidents and one in eight accidents resulting in injury. These accidents are 100 percent preventable. The trouble is getting drivers to recognize the symptoms, to understand the risks and to ultimately stop driving dangerously.
“Many of us tend to underestimate the negative effects associated with fatigue and sleep deprivation,” said Kathleen Marvaso, a vice president with AAA.
Drowsy driving-related accidents take the lives of more than 1,500 people, injure another 71,000 and contribute to more than 100,000 accidents every year. These accidents cost more than $12 billion annually.
A recently released study from AAA concluded that even though more than 95 percent of drivers see drowsy driving as completely unacceptable, more than a third admitted to doing it themselves at least once in the last 30 days.
“People know that they shouldn’t text or drink when they drive, and that’s great,” says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “However, many don’t realize that driving while drowsy is also very dangerous.”
A poll from the National Sleep Foundation concluded that one out of every ten drivers between the ages of 15- and 46-years-old admitted to driving while drowsy once or twice a week.
Driving while drowsy can drastically hinder your driving abilities. It can slow your reaction time, it can impair your vision, in can slow your ability to process information and it can cause lapses in judgment. Many studies conclude that a driver who has been awake for 20 hours has the same abilities as a driver who is legally drunk.
You may be drowsy and should probably pull over if you:
-Have trouble keeping your eyes open.
-Have trouble keeping your head up.
-Can’t remember the last couple miles you’ve driven.
-Swerve in and out of your lane.
-Miss traffic signs, traffic lights, turns and exits.
If you feel any of the symptoms listed above, you’re urged to pull over, get some rest, take a break from driving or switch with a passenger.
To help prevent getting drowsy at the wheel, be sure to stop and take a break after every 2 hours or every 100 miles of driving, get plenty of sleep (at least seven hours) before taking a long road trip and never drive during times when you’d normally be sleeping. These accidents are preventable, but it takes an educated driver to recognize the symptoms, to properly assess the situation and to make the proper moves to correct it.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident with, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
More Blog Entries:
MADD and Our Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Recognize ISP’s Fight Against Drunk Drivers
November 8, 2011
NSC Recognizes Illinois Resident for Efforts in the Fight against Teen Car Accident in Chicago
October 27, 2011