WBBJ 7 in Tennessee recently discussed the problem of drowsy driving, asking some local residents about their own experiences in fighting fatigue behind the wheel. The WBBJ story was prompted by a large-scale study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC study was the largest ever to tackle the issue of fatigued driving and it contained some disturbing findings that have drivers worried.
Our Johnson City injury attorneys are concerned about the dangers of drowsy driving. We believe this is a very dangerous problem facing residents of Tennessee and we urge drivers to take responsibility for their own actions and make sure they aren’t endangering lives by making a foolish decision to drive when they are exhausted.
Tennessee Residents Speak Out About Drowsy Driving
The CDC study that prompted the discussion about drowsy driving involved a widespread survey of people in 19 different states and in D.C. In all, there were over 147,000 people who answered the detailed survey questions, far more than have ever been interviewed in a drowsy driving study before. Unfortunately, many of those responding indicated that they had driven when they were fatigued. Not only had these drivers been tired behind the wheel, but 4.2 percent of all of those responding said they’d actually fallen asleep as they drove in the 30 days before they completed the survey.
As WBBJ reported, this means that one out of 24 drivers could be sleeping as they are driving at any time. Younger drivers ages 18-44 and men both had even higher rates of drowsy driving, with more than 5 percent of each group admitting to falling asleep driving in the prior 30 days. All of these drivers are taking a serious risk of becoming involved in a crash, which could be especially dangerous because sleeping drivers don’t use normal crash avoidance techniques like hitting the breaks or swerving to avoid a head-on or high speed collision.
In response to the survey, some Tennessee residents were asked about their own drowsy driving behaviors and about the risks of fatigued driving. As WBBJ reported, residents blamed work and life stress for fatigued driving. One resident admitted being close to falling asleep and reported knowing many other people who said driving made them tired. Another said she tried to be as alert as possible and also to watch out for other drivers.
Unfortunately, efforts to be alert and stay awake may not be enough for some drivers. As WBBJ indicated, a six-year study found that there were around 1,300 crashes in Tennessee caused by sleeping drivers.
What Can You Do to Stop Drowsy Driving?
Every driver needs to be aware of the dangers of drowsy driving and needs to do whatever they can to curb this dangerous practice. Ideally, people should get enough sleep and should refrain from driving if they are feeling tired. While this may not always be realistic, it is very important to stop driving immediately if you find you are struggling to stay awake. A Tennessee Highway Patrol officer also recommended to WBBJ that drivers who found themselves falling asleep should get out and rest for fifteen minutes or should consider getting out of the car and walking around to become more awake and alert. By pulling over if you are falling asleep, you could potentially save your own life or someone else’s.
If you are in a drowsy driving accident in Johnson City, Tennessee, contact Meade Injury Law Group today at (423) 464-7779for a free consultation. If our firm represents you, we will tirelessly pursue the full compensation you are entitled to under the law.