If you ask someone about the main risks they face from other drivers, the top two that they’re probably going to list are distracted driving and drunk driving. Drunk driving has plagued the highways for years and distracted driving has increased notably in the last decade or so. These are both very real issues that you should be aware of.
However, another issue that doesn’t get nearly as much attention is drowsy driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that drowsy driving statistics are often underreported or underestimated. They believe that thousands of people could lose their lives in these accidents every year, and far more could suffer injuries in crashes that are fortunate enough not to be fatal.
Drowsy driving is hard to track. If someone nods off and rear-ends another car, are they going to tell the police what happened? Or are they going to say that something else caused the crash, like the front car stopping suddenly?
Unlike drunk driving, there is no real way to test and see how tired someone was. Even if you could, you couldn’t prove that they caused the accident because they were tired. There is often evidence — such as a driver failing to brake when a hazard was obviously ahead of them — but even that could be caused by distraction, intoxication or some other issue.
Since drivers have to self-report drowsy driving, that’s why experts assume that it’s underreported and happens far more than the average driver knows.
Have you been injured?
If you do get hit by a tired driver and you suffer serious injuries or lose a loved one, you must know what legal options you have.