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May 23rd, 2013

Study Finds One in 24 Americans Driving While Drowsy

A report on drowsy driving by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as one in 24 Americans has driven while drowsy or fatigued.

The report suggests to Houston car accident lawyers that drowsy driving is a much more serious problem than the federal administration has estimated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based the results on a survey of close to 150,000 drivers across 19 states and DC.

The report suggests that persons driving under the influence of fatigue or drowsiness may be just as impaired as persons driving under the influence of alcohol. Drowsiness has the same effect as alcohol on a person’s driving abilities, slowing down reaction times, dulling judgment skills, and impairing the ability to make critical decisions while driving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that motorists need to look out for a number of signs that a driver may be too fatigued to drive. Those include yawning incessantly and uncontrollably, drifting between lanes, and missing exits. Once the signs are visible, the drivers need to try to get off the road as quickly as possible. If you have someone else in your car, hand over the wheel to them.

Drowsy driving is one of the most underestimated threats in the United States, and there is very conflicting data about the number of accidents that are caused by drowsy drivers every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that as many as 2% of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by drowsy drivers.

However, Houston car accident attorneys suspect that the number is actually much higher. When a driver is involved in a drowsy driving-related accident, it is highly unlikely that he’s going to admit to officers at the scene that he dozed off the wheel. That means that many of these cases are never reported, and hence, the numbers are probably much higher than estimated.

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