As the winter months go on, drivers spend significant time driving at dusk or in darkness. Driving at night carries special risks, including drowsy driving, when drivers are more often fatigued. Driving while fatigued is as hazardous as drunk driving, according to research from the National Safety Council. Drivers who are tired are three times more likely to be in a car accident. What can drivers do to minimize the risks of driving while fatigued and who is most at risk? The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that young drivers, aged 16 to 24, are almost two times as likely to be in a fatigue-related car accident.
Warning Signs and Prevention Strategies
Driving while tired is a common problem to which most drivers can relate, but driving while significantly fatigued poses a greater accident risk than drivers may realize. There are certain risk factors to be aware of based on collision research. While any driver can suffer from sleep deprivation and late-night tiredness, some people, especially the youth, are more at-risk than others. Young drivers under age 24 make up more drowsy driving accidents than drivers aged 40 to 59. Young drivers also have less experience behind the wheel and may be less likely to recognize the signs that they are dangerously fatigued.
Other drivers at-risk are those who work hours other than a standard day shift job. This can include swing shift workers whose work hours change periodically, and those who work at night. Commercial drivers are also at a higher risk. On the road, truck drivers comprise 15 percent of all truck accidents involving drowsiness.
Prevention includes common sense strategies that are sometimes ignored. Planning trips during the hours a driver is typically awake is one simple solution. When on the road, plan for stops at least every two hours or per 100 miles traveled. Simply stopping and getting out of the vehicle can help decrease tiredness. Warning signs that you are in danger of a fatigue-related accident include rubbing eyes, excessive yawning, wandering out of lanes, and difficulty focusing. Any driver who is experiencing these signs should pull over and rest or change drivers, if possible.
The risks are not only to the driver but to passengers and other vehicles. A car accident, even if relatively minor, can have serious effects, including injury to oneself and others, property damage, traffic violations and points, and higher insurance rates. Those injured can suffer medical consequences and experience long lasting effects to their livelihood. If you are hurt in a car accident, an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer will be on your side.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Assist Victims Injured in Drowsy Driving Accidents
If you were injured in an accident with a drowsy driver, contact the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC. We represent victims of car accidents and work to obtain the maximum results you need to recover from your injury. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we represent injured parties throughout the surrounding areas. Please complete our online form for a free consultation or call us at 215-515-7644.