The Silent Driving Hazard: Sleeping At The Wheel

I have written in the past about numerous driving hazards such as texting and cell phone use, drinking and driving and the weather. Drowsy driving is another cause that is often ignored until this week, when a new study was released detailing the dangers of sleeping and driving.

AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report on Monday that reported that falling asleep while driving results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents each year. The report states that these numbers may actually be light as the official 1,550 die in the United States because of driver fatigue. Such data rely on admissions from the driver, who may be unsure what caused the crash or who may not be forthcoming.

Not all drowsiness comes late at night. More than one in four drivers told AAA they had fallen asleep during the afternoon within the past year. And more than two-thirds of drivers who said they dozed off said they were unaware when they got into the vehicle that they might have a hard time staying awake.

We will have to see if any new legislation will be introduced to help prevent this problem as has been done by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA this year proposed stricter regulations on airline pilots including a rule that would enable pilots to get more sleep.

Click here to view the entire AAA report.

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