Driving drowsy can be as dangerous as driving drunk or distracted

Federal data shows that as many as 20 percent of all fatal accidents are caused through fatigue.

Everyone knows that certain behaviors increase the risk of an accident. The danger posed by drunk driving has long been established. With the prominent recent campaigns focused on getting drivers off their cellphones, more people are becoming aware that distracted driving can be just as risky. While some people still choose to endanger lives by drinking before driving or checking a text while behind the wheel, at least people are generally aware that such behaviors are risky - they just think they can get away with it.

Not as many drivers are aware of the dangers of driving while fatigued, however. Many hard-working people pride themselves on how little sleep they get each night. Despite trucking hours-of-service regulations, deadlines can mean that truckers skip on sleep and violate regulations in order to get goods delivered on time. And sometimes it's just hard to get a good night's sleep, which is something we've all experienced.

But driving without adequate rest could be as dangerous as driving drunk or distracted.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has pledged to crack down on drowsy driving. In a speech on March 16, one NHTSA official said that the agency will begin collecting better data on drowsy driving. While more data needs to be collected, the NHTSA estimates that 2 to 20 percent of annual traffic fatalities are the result of driver drowsiness.

"While not everybody drinks or texts or speeds, lack of sleep is a problem we all face," the official said during the speech at a safety conference in Chicago.

As part of the planned crackdown on drowsy driving, the NHTSA will target populations vulnerable to drowsy driving. These include shift workers who are up all night and men ages 16 -29. Men and women with sleep disorders are also more at risk to cause an accident.

A public awareness campaign similar to those targeting drunk and distracted drivers is also planned.

Car accident victims in Georgia have legal options

After a serious accident, the focus for the victims is on recovery. Part of the recovery process is understanding what took place, why the accident occurred, and preventing future serious injuries to other people on the road.

That is why it is so important to understand the role that drowsy driving plays in accidents. At Law and Moran, Attorneys at Law, our team is able to investigate the cause of accidents thoroughly and hold drivers accountable regardless of whether they were under the influence, on their cell, or simply too tired to drive safely.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact our office today to discuss your legal options and to get help with recovering after a serious car accident.

Keywords: Drowsy driving, distracted driving, drunk driving, car accident, personal injury, Law and Moran, Attorneys at Law.