Tennessee Drowsy Driving Attorney
Whether they are working the graveyard shift, caring for an infant, or cramming all night for college exams, Americans are more sleep-deprived than ever. Nonetheless, many Tennesseans think drowsy driving is a problem only for tractor trailer drivers. But the truth is that virtually all drivers have been known to get behind the wheel when they have not had enough rest. In fact, drowsy driving causes up to 328,000 car accidents annually, according to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation. AAA Foundation research also has found that a shocking one out of five crashes each year is related to drowsy driving.
These sobering statistics confirm what many public safety experts have suspected for years: The problem of drowsy driving is much worse than statistics from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) would have us believe.
The AAA Foundation report also revealed that one-third of accidents involving a drowsy driver lead to injuries, and more than 6,000 drowsy driving crashes per year lead to at least one death.
More alarming national statistics about drowsy driving:
- One in 25 drivers admits they fell asleep while driving in the past 30 days.
- The NHTSA, which some say are underreporting the problem, estimates that fatigued driving caused 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries and 800 fatalities in 2013.
- People who snore or sleep fewer than six hours per night are more likely to fall asleep while driving.
Tennessee Driver Fatigue Killed 6 in Tragic 2015 Truck Crash
While statistics reveal the breadth of the drowsy driving problem, a specific Tennessee example really can drive the point home. A driver of a tractor trailer in Tennessee in 2015 killed six people and injured 18 others, according to the NTSB in October 2016. Trucker Benjamin Brewer was driving at least 78 mph in a 55 mph construction zone and had been without rest for 40 hours. He rear-ended a car in slowed traffic, killing two sisters, their mother and grandmother.
No one should ever drive when they have not had enough sleep. If they do and they injure someone, they should be held liable in criminal and civil court.
Prevent Drowsy Driving With These Tips
It is clear that drowsy driving is a scourge affecting Tennessee, and the country in general. To ensure you never get in a fatigue-related accident, experts say you should take these steps.
- Get a good night’s sleep before driving. You should aim for at least seven hours of good sleep each night to ensure you are rested for driving. Quality sleep improves concentration and attention and makes you better at problem solving.
- If you get sleepy behind the wheel, pull over in a safe place immediately. Rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. Physical activity helps, so take a brisk walk near your vehicle for a few minutes. Remember that rolling down the window or blasting the AC or radio will not wake you up.
- During a long road trip, plan a break every two hours to move around and stretch. This will help you stay awake.
- Avoid driving alone. A vehicle in which the driver is alone is nearly 50% more likely to be involved in a drowsy-related car accident.
“Live To See Tennessee – Don’t Drive Drowsy”
The Tennessee state government has become increasingly alarmed about the dangers of drowsy driving in the Volunteer State. It enacted the “Live to See Tennessee” public safety campaign in 2016 to increase Tennesseans’ awareness of the dangers of fatigued driving.
The public safety campaign runs advertisements on TV, radio, and the Internet and posts signs on highways warning drivers not to drive drowsy. Some of the signs of drowsy driving pointed out by the Live to See Tennessee campaign are:
- Fighting to stay awake while driving
- Blinking and yawning excessively
- Head is bobbing up and down
- Missing your turn or interstate exit
- Inability to remember how far you traveled
- Driving or departing from your lane
- Driving over the rumble strips on the shoulder of the road.
Hopefully, the Tennessee public safety campaign will result in fewer serious injuries and deaths on the roads from drowsy driving. If you are injured in a car accident due to a drowsy driver, you should speak to a personal injury attorney immediately.
Injured in an Auto Accident by a Drowsy Driver? Contact Us Today
If you have been hurt by a drowsy driver, you could be entitled to compensation. Tennessee vehicle accident lawyer John R. Colvin can provide you with aggressive legal representation that can result in compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages. Please contact us today at 931-962-1044 or submit a query on our online form.