A recent Forbes article highlighted a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) showing that an estimated 5,000 people died last year as a direct result of motor vehicle accidents caused by drowsy driving. Furthermore, the willingness and normalcy of drivers foregoing sleep resulted in 83.6 million sleep-deprived drivers on American roads. The cost of drowsy driving to American society is about $109 billion annually, and that figure reportedly does not include the cost of property damages resulting from this type of motor vehicle accident. These statistics undoubtedly helped contribute to the increase in U.S. motor vehicle deaths in 2015, which measured at 7.7 percent nationwide.
As a result of these increasingly common incidents of drowsy driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has expanded its definition of impaired driving to include drowsy drivers along with drugged, drunk, and distracted drivers. While some states have begun to initiate educational and outreach programs in order to address the dangers of drowsy driving, most states have not put forth much effort in this area.
According to GHSA, sleep deprivation mimics the effect of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in drivers; after 21 hours without sleep, a driver has the same reaction and reflex time as a driver with a BAC of 0.08%, which is the legal limit in most states. The demographics of drivers who tend to engage in drowsy driving more often tend to be teenagers and young adults. Additionally, people who work irregular shifts or who have sleep disorders also may engage in drowsy driving.
Boller & Vaughan are Wisconsin motor vehicle accident lawyers who are devoted to protecting the interests of injury victims, as well as their families, whether accidents result from texting and driving or another type of negligence. When another driver has acted in such a manner so as to cause you harm, he or she may be responsible for your financial losses. In the case of a personal injury suit, however, there are strict deadlines that you must follow, or you risk losing your right to compensation altogether. Contact our office today to set up your free consultation and learn what legal options we can offer you.