Driver Fatigue is a major cause of car accidents. As Orlando car accident lawyers, we find that people fail to appreciate the very real danger of driving when exhausted. While everyone knows the dangers of drinking and driving, few individuals question the wisdom of driving when tired. Yet, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates up to 100,000 car accidents each year from driver fatigue, with an estimated 1,550 deaths and 71,000 people injured. Certainly, the difficulty in identifying fatigue as the source of car accidents, as opposed to alcohol-related car accidents, means these figures are underestimated.
According to researchers, any individual who has experienced certain types of sleep disorders or previously experience erratic driving due to fatigue should take special precautions. A west coast sleep research center, reported on surveys of more than 10,000 drivers and found that individuals who had visited with a physician because of sleepiness or fatigue were at an increased risk for being involved in a car accident. Also, individuals who were once stopped by police for erratic driving while sleepy were also more likely to have a car accident.
Of course, most people will not have any additional risk factors. For most drivers, there must simply be a better overall awareness that driving tired may impair your faculties in ways that are similar to alcohol usage. We have seen too many car accidents that could have been prevented, if the drivers had not been on the road so late at night or for so many hours.