Driver Fatigue And Car Accidents

Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of car and truck accidents in America. The recent truck accident that seriously injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan has brought increased attention to driving while sleepy or drowsy. The driver of the truck that injured Tracy Morgan allegedly remained awake for more than 24 hours.

The inspector general of the U.S. Transportation Department, Mary Schiavo, shared information about the impact that lack of sleep has on drivers on the road and increases the chance of serious auto accidents. She stated, during an appearance on New Day that the impact of driving while sleepy can be greater than the impact of driving while intoxicated.

By comparing the impact of driving while drowsy to driving while intoxicated, Schiavo reveals the serious effect of sleeplessness on the human mind, body and reflexes while driving. A 2012 study by Harvard Medical School found that over 1 million car accidents each year can be attributed to sleepy driving and that approximately 4,000 deaths each can be blamed on exhausted truck drivers.

Truckers and other individuals who routinely drive while tired place themselves and everyone else on the road at significant risk of an accident caused by negligence. Sleep deprived drivers suffer from:

  • Delayed reaction times
  • Impaired vision and hallucinations
  • Compromised judgment
  • Aggressive driving
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Inability to process information rapidly

In some states, driving while tired is characterized as a criminal crime in addition to a traffic violation if an individual causes an accident or injures people. In many states that criminalize driving while exhausted, the crime is considered reckless driving. It is important to pull over on the road and take a nap if you are sleeping. You could be saving your life and the life other individuals on the roads by taking such a precaution.