Drowsy driving is the cause of more than 100,000 car accidents each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is to blame for an estimated 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries each year, cites DrowsyDriving.org.
In fact, last summer Actor and Comedian, Tracey Morgan sustained severe injuries when a Wal-Mart truck driver slammed into the car he was riding in. The accident killed a close friend who was riding in the vehicle with him. The truck driver had been awake for more than 24 hours when the crash took place.
In 2008, Virginia Tech University freshman Nicole Lee was killed when the car she was riding in slammed head first into a tree. State police believe the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
Doctors claim that losing a night’s sleep is the equivalent to being legally drunk, as it takes away a person’s capacity to function properly. Experts note that when someone feels like they’re about to fall asleep at the wheel, that’s the best indicator that it’s time to get off the road.
NBC correspondent puts drowsy driving to the test
NBC News put drowsy driving on display by running a segment demonstrating the dangers first-hand. National Investigative Correspondent, Jeff Rossen, headed to the Skip Barber Driving School in Lakeville, CT to prove just how dangerous it is to drive while excessively tired.
Rossen drove the course while fully awake and alert without a hitch. He then went home and stayed awake for nearly 30 hours before heading back for another round on the course. While he admitted to feeling tired, Rossen felt he was perfectly fine to get behind the wheel.
The second time around the course didn’t fare as well for Rossen, as he hit multiple traffic cones, designed to simulate multiple crashes.
Sleep expert, Dr. Charles Czeisler, of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, carefully examined video footage of Rossen’s driving tests, noting the significant difference in the second one.
Czeisler noted that just a few minutes of micro-sleep can be the difference between life and death.
“Most people don’t realize that part of the brain can be asleep while another part of the brain is awake,” Czeisler said. So you may be able to keep your foot full throttle on the accelerator and even negotiate certain turns and yet not have the judgment area of the brain engaged.”
New Jersey drowsy driving accident lawyer
It’s not okay for drivers to get behind the wheel of a vehicle when they’re not alert enough to drive. Many people don’t realize the true dangers of drowsy driving, but when if someone is too tired to focus on the task at hand, they’re a danger to everyone else on the road.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, it’s important to have someone on your side to defend your rights. A New Jersey drowsy driving accident lawyer at Eisbrouch & March, LLC will review your case to determine whether you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. You deserve compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and time away from work.
- Today, Dramatic Experiment Shows Deadly Danger of Drowsy Driving http://www.today.com/health/drowsy-driving-dramatic-experiment-reveals-deadly-danger-1D80283114
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Research on Drowsy Driving http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Distracted+Driving+at+Distraction.gov/Research+on+Drowsy+Driving