Drowsy driving is a pervasive problem in Colorado and around the country. It is important for people to avoid driving when they are fatigued to reduce the risk that they will cause accidents.
According to a survey taken in 2013 and republished by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 25 respondents said that they had fallen asleep while they were driving in the previous 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 800 people were killed and 44,000 were injured by drowsy drivers in 2013. The NHTSA estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 accidents in the U.S. that year. The CDC reports that the number of fatalities caused by drowsy driving is underestimated and reports that the actual number of fatalities that occur is around 6,000 per year.
People who do not get enough sleep at night are likelier to drive while drowsy. Others who are likelier to do so include commercial drivers, shift workers, people who take medications that cause them to feel tired and people who suffer from untreated sleep disorders.
People who are drowsy should pull over and rest. Even if they do not fall asleep, people who are tired have slower reaction times, are more likely to make poor decisions and may have trouble paying attention to the roads. People who are injured in accidents that were caused by fatigued drivers may want to consult with experienced personal injury attorneys. Legal counsel could attempt to seek a settlement with the at-fault motorist's insurer, but if the amount offered is insufficient, a lawsuit might be the next step.