Approximately 100,000 auto accidents reported to police are caused by tired drivers in Washington and the other states every year. Young adult men, shift workers and people with children are the most at risk for driving while drowsy. The National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey in 2005 and found that around 168 million adult drivers drove while they were sleepy, and around 103 million people have fallen asleep while driving.
Fatigued drivers are more prone to attention lapses. Sleep deprivation may also cause behaviors that result in auto accidents such as impatience and faster driving. The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll and found that people between 18 and 29 years of age were more likely to drive in a fatigued state than older people.
Driver fatigue causes approximately 71,000 auto injuries, 1,550 deaths, and over $12 billion in losses each year. These numbers may be higher since it is difficult to determine sleepiness as a cause of the crashes. Australian researchers have shown that 18 hours without sleep is equal in impairment to a blood alcohol level of 0.05. After 24 hours, the impairment is equivalent to 0.10. A person is considered legally drunk at 0.08. Fatigued driving accidents have caused drivers to go to jail.
Individual fatigued drivers, as well as the employers of fatigued drivers, have lost lawsuits against them in multi-million dollar settlements. If an individual is involved in a car accident due to the negligence of a drowsy driver, an experienced attorney may be able to help. An attorney could help them pursue damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, car repairs, and pain and suffering.
Source: National Sleep Foundation, Facts and Stats, April 16, 2015