An Increase of Fatigued Driving in the Lone Star State
- March 24, 2018
- Car Accidents
America has a problem with drowsy driving, and it is affecting Texas in a big way. Texans have been found to die in drowsy driving crashes at four times the rate of California, which is the country’s No. 3 state for fatigued driving deaths. When it is broken down, this means approximately one in five fatigue-related crashes in the U.S. in 2016 happened in Texas. Further, in the Lone Star State, the total number of car accidents related to fatigued driving in 2016 was almost 10,000. At least 100 of those accidents were fatal, according to a new study by AAA Texas.
It is unclear why Texas has such a high rate of these accidents, but experts say that its large population is not to blame. California has a population that is 10 million greater than that of Texas, but that state accounted for only 5.3% of national fatigued driving deaths.
An NBC report from February also determined that drowsy driving deaths occur in Texas almost seven times more often in rural areas than in urban areas. It is hard to say if the long, open roads of rural Texas lead to ‘highway hypnosis,’ but it does suggest that long haul drivers are more likely in Texas to fall asleep behind the wheel than city commuters.
Researchers also found that drowsy driving accidents tend to happen more often on Sunday and Monday mornings between 5 and 6 am. These accidents seem to peak in June, which suggests that summertime socializing may lead to later nights and fatigued mornings.
How to Prevent Drowsy Driving
It is clear there is a problem with drowsy driving in Texas leading to serious injuries and sometimes death. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to prevent drowsy driving accidents. Keep these tips from the CDC in mind the next time you get behind the wheel:
- Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep per day; teens need at least eight hours.
- Develop good sleeping habits by going to sleep at the same time every night.
- If you have a diagnosed sleeping problem, talk to your doctor about how to treat it effectively.
- Do not drink alcohol or take medications that lead to drowsiness before you drive. Check the label of any prescription drug you take to make sure it will not cause you to nod off.
- Having drinks with caffeine can temporarily increase alertness, but the only long-term solution is to get more sleep.
Liability in a Drowsy Driving Accident
If there is an accident with injury involving a drowsy driver, you must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was negligent. In other words, it is more likely than not that the other driver fell asleep and injured you. Meeting this legal standard in a drowsy driving case is challenging and requires the assistance of an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney.
Were You Hurt By a Fatigued Driver? Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney Today
Fatigued driving is more common across the country and in Texas these days. Studies indicate that driving fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving drunk If you were in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The car accident attorneys at Guajardo & Marks will review your case at no cost to determine whether there is a possibility of financial recovery. Please call 972-774-9800 today.