Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Drowsy driving may be more harmful that safety officials have thought. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 1.4% of all motor vehicle crashes in the United States involve a drowsy driver. For those accidents that result in injuries, 2.2% involve a drowsy driver and 2.5% of all fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver. But according to a new study by the AAA Foundation, the number of accidents caused by a drowsy driver may actually be much higher. In its report, the AAA Foundation states:
“Official government statistics are widely regarded as substantial underestimates of the true magnitude of the problem. The statistics reported by the NHTSA are based on data compiled from reports completed by police officers investigating the scenes of motor vehicle crashes. However, unlike impairment by alcohol, impairment by sleepiness, drowsiness, or fatigue does not leave behind physical evidence, and it may be difficult or impossible for the police to ascertain…This inherent limitation is further compounded by the design of the forms that police officers complete when investigating crashes…”
After looking at data compiled from 2009 to 2013, the AAA Foundation found that as many as 6% of all car crashes in which a passenger vehicle is towed from the scene involve a drowsy driver; 7% of injury-inducing crashes and 13% of fatal accidents crashes involve a drowsy driver. While any driver is susceptible to drowsy driving, certain drivers seem to be more prone to drowsy driving risks. For instance, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that drowsy driving is more prevalent among men, younger drivers, binge drinkers, and those who do not always wear a seatbelt. If you or a loved one were in a car crash, is important to get prompt medical treatment and notify the police. Delays in medical treatment that result in a worsening of the injury could make it more difficult to prove your case. You should see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident or other personal injury accident not only to diagnose and treat all injuries, but to obtain a comprehensive medical record of your injuries. Moreover, a delay in notifying the police could result in the loss of evidence to prove liability of the negligent driver. You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can communicate and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and, if legal action is required, they can help you file a claim in the appropriate court of law. All personal injury cases, including car accident claims, have strict statutes of limitations during which a lawsuit can be filed. A personal injury lawyer can advise you of those time limits and ensure that you file a timely claim if necessary. If you were injured or a loved one died in a car accident, contact the Chicago accident attorneys at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish at (888) 325-7299 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible personal injury lawsuit. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.