The National Sleep Foundation sponsors Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, which is a national campaign aimed at raising people's awareness of how dangerous it is to drive while you are drowsy or tired.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that over 100,000 car crashes happen each year because of drowsy driving. The tragic part of this statistic is that the NHTSA also estimated that over 1,550 people lost their lives and another 71,000 people were injured.
Who is at risk? The NSF says that 50 percent of U.S. adults admitted they have fallen asleep while driving during the past year. However, specific groups of people who are risk include:
-- Shift workers: Those who work night shifts, double shifts, rotating shifts or more than one job have six times more risk to drive while drowsy.
-- Young drivers: Those between the ages of 16 and 25 are at a higher risk. Not only is it their inexperience, but their tendency to drive at night. Young males were more likely to drive while drowsy than young females.
-- Commercial drivers: Truck drivers and other commercial drivers who rack up high miles are at a higher risk of driving while drowsy and sleep disorders.
-- Business travelers: Those who travel frequently can suffer from jet lag as they cross times zones and spend long hours driving.
There are signs of drowsiness that every driver needs to know, such as having trouble focusing, rubbing your eyes, drifting into another lane, rolling down the window or feeling restless.
Preventing drowsy driving is every driver's responsibility. However, if you are injured in a car crash because of a drowsy driver, you have a right to seek compensation for medical bills, emotional distress, pain and suffering and more. An attorney experienced with personal injury cases can provide you with more information and guidance.
Source: DrowsyDriving.org, "Facts About Drowsy Driving," accessed Nov. 10, 2016