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NHTSA Estimates Show Drowsy Driving May Be Tied to 1.2 Million Crashes Each Year

The agency has released new information revealing the broad scope of the problem with drowsy driving throughout the United States.

Dallas, 05/10/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released new information suggesting drowsy driving may be linked to far more traffic accidents than previously thought. According to estimates, 1.2 million motor vehicle crashes may be caused by drowsy driving each year, which is significantly higher than other research has shown in the past. The claim is based on a previous study, which used a different methodology to calculate the total. 

Source: NHTSA Report “Research on Drowsy Driving”

“The 2009 Massachusetts Special Commission on Drowsy Driving, based on a different research methodology, estimated that there could be as many as 1.2 million crashes, 8,000 lives lost, and 500,000 injuries due to drowsy driving each year.”

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The agency also says on its website that in spite of the common assumption that being tired is not an impairment comparable to consuming drugs or alcohol, it also has a major impact on a driver’s alertness, judgment, reaction time, and other factors that could lead to a crash, stating, “According to NHTSA’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study (NMVCCS), drowsy drivers involved in a crash are twice as likely to make performance errors as compared to drivers who are not fatigued. In extreme cases, a drowsy driver may fall asleep at the wheel.”

Why Drowsy Driving is Particularly Problematic Within the Commercial Trucking Industry

In addition to the NHTSA information, a new campaign initiated to help raise awareness about the problem, which transportation safety advocates say is one that the American driving public overlooks on a broad scale has garnered widespread attention and re-sparked conversations about drowsy driving among commercial truck drivers. According to Texas truck wreck lawyer Amy Witherite, the conversation that began following a fatal truck crash involving celebrity Tracy Morgan two years ago has been refueled in part by the campaign, which allows people to take an online pledge to not drive if they feel sleepy.

Says Witherite, “many of those commenting about the campaign are truck drivers who admit to frequently driving while fatigued. This type of admission is necessary to help illustrate how commonplace it is for truckers to fail to follow protocol when it comes to driving while fatigued. Witherite says that truck driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents in the U.S. overall, and the number of injury cases handled by her firm help provide supporting evidence of this fact. “Since our firm opened, we have received too many cases to count that involved truck drivers driving for extended hours and causing a crash because of their compromised performance ability.”

According to the attorney, there are three key issues that allow such bad judgments to go widely unchecked within the commercial truck industry:

  • Lack of oversight of hours worked – “Although government regulations have been imposed that require truck drivers to limit the time traveled without sufficient rest breaks, and follow additional safety rules, many continue to take risks to meet unreasonable deadlines and attempt to earn more pay, “says Witherite.
  • Companies that promote unreasonable deadlines – Witherite suggests that to increase revenue a number of trucking companies promote bending the rules and allowing drivers to go on long-haul commutes without ensuring they are taking a certain number of breaks.
  • Need for stricter regulations – More controls would be helpful Witherite says for restricting truck driver habits like driving while fatigued that put the lives of many at risk at the state and federal level.

For help with a Texas truck accident case linked to drowsy driving, contact Eberstein Witherite by calling 1800 Truck Wreck (1800-878-2597) at any time of the day or night.


Social Media Tags:drowsy drivers, driving while fatigued, traffic accidents, Texas truck wreck lawyer, fatal truck crash, truck driver habits, commercial truck industry, commercial truck drivers

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