Posted On: November 9, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Decrease the Number of Chicago Car Accidents by Not Driving While Drowsy

November 2 – 8 was Drowsing Driving Prevention Week. Designated as such by the National Sleep Foundation, the weeklong campaign focused on making more drivers aware of how dangerous it is to drive while drowsy or tired.

Studies reveal that a person who has been awake for 18 hours exhibits impairment equal to someone whose blood alcohol level is .05% to .10%. Driving while sleepy or tired impairs a motorist’s reflexes and ability to pay attention, while causing blurry vision if not loss of consciousness during even just a few seconds of unintentional sleep. Considering that it takes just a few seconds for a tragic Chicago car crash to happen, drowsy driving can prove catastrophic.

Groups especially at-risk for drowsy driving are commercial drivers, people with untreated sleep disorders (millions of people may not even be aware they are suffering from slip apnea), young motorists, and people who work the graveyard shift. People on long trips, motorists who are medicated or did not get enough sleep, drunk drivers, solo drivers on dark roads or on those lacking scenery, and late night drivers are also at risk for falling asleep at the wheel.

Many people don’t realize that drowsy driving can be deadly. A new National Sleep Foundation poll reports that 54 million motorists drive while drowsy at least once a month. 105 million drivers report driving while sleepy at least once in the last 12 months.

National Sleep Foundation Chairman Thomas Balkin says contrary to common belief, motorists can’t just will themselves to stay awake, which accounts for the 1.9 million car accidents and near-collisions a year involving a drowsy driver.

On a positive note,1.9 million motor vehicle crashes that can be prevent in the future if only motorists would stop drowsy driving.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, National Sleep Foundation (PDF)

1.9 Million Drivers Have Fatigue-Related Car Crashes or Near Misses Each Year, Reuters, November 2, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Drowsy Driving, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Drowsy Driving, National Safety Council

For those of you that were injured or lost a loved one in a drowsy driving Chicago motor vehicle accident, there are legal options available to you. Contact our Chicago, Illinois car accident law firm today.

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