Drowsy Drivers in Texas are Deadly Drivers
Drivers in Texas are some of the sleepiest in the nation. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control conducted studies in Texas that determined 6.1% of Texans had fallen asleep at the wheel in the 30 days preceding the study. It's a bona fide public health crisis in the region. In 2016, more than 20% of all drowsy driving deaths in the nation were recorded in Texas. Driver fatigue is as dangerous as driving drunk, and drowsy drivers have similarly slowed reaction times, diminished focus, reduced vision, and impaired judgment that drunk drivers exhibit.
How Drowsy Driving Affects Accident Risk
It doesn't take data or statistics to understand how risky it can be to drive while drowsy. We all know that our judgment and reaction time is greatly reduced when we're feeling sleepy. However, few of us realize just how much. We tend to underestimate how tired we really are.
From 2009 through 2013, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recorded 72,000 police-reported motor vehicle accidents involving drowsy drivers. Studies conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety places the real number of drowsy driving accidents much higher and estimates more than 328,000 drowsy driving accidents each year.
Commuting Raises the Risk
The average commute in San Antonio is just under 25 minutes and most drivers are on the road between 7am-9am, and from 5pm-7pm. These times are inherently dangerous as drowsy drivers head to work or make their way home after a long day on the job. The longer a driver's commute, the greater the risk they will become distracted or fall asleep at the wheel. For drivers who aren't drowsy, a long commute means greater exposure to drivers who are potentially dozing off.
Stay Awake and Stay Alive
Simple changes in driving habits can help motorists in San Antonio reduce their risk of a drowsy driving accident caused by driver fatigue. These include getting a full night's rest, avoiding late night drives, not driving alone, and sharing driving duties with a second driver. Drivers should also remain alert for the signs of drowsy driving in other motorists. These include veering out of the lane of travel, failing to stop at stop signs/lights, and erratic changes in speed. Whenever a motorist encounters a driver they suspect of driving fatigued, it's always best to give the vehicle a wide berth and report it to law enforcement.
Driver fatigue causes a considerable number of deadly accidents in Texas. When you have suffered injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one in a car wreck, the automobile accident attorneys at the Welmaker Law Firm can help you pursue compensation for your claim.