Pennsylvania residents know that in today’s busy environment, many people cannot find the time to sleep enough. While this is a common complaint for many adults, it can also become a deadly problem when mixed with driving. Drowsy driving, caused from fatigue and lack of sleep, often leads to serious and sometimes fatal accidents.
It is estimated that up to 7,500 fatal motor vehicle accidents are the result of drowsy driving each year in the U.S. And experts are concerned that this is continuing to increase. Drivers who sleep less than six hours a night, as well as those who snore or those that fall asleep unintentionally, are more likely to be drowsy while driving. This becomes more dangerous at night, in higher-speed roadways such as interstates, when the accidents can become very serious. Drowsy driving can result in lack of alertness, decreased reactions and impaired decision making.
One way experts hope to help prevent drowsy driving is by using new technologies to assist drivers. Many trucking companies are beginning to install forward collision warning systems, using lasers and cameras to detect when there is something in the path of the vehicle and let the driver know the amount of time before the crash. The systems alert the driver by using beeps, flashing lights and even by automatic braking. Other systems alert the driver when the driver is about to go off their lane. Some car manufacturers have systems that can estimate the driver’s level of drowsiness from their steering adjustments. Other technology include phone apps that can emit an alarm when a driver is about to fall asleep.
It will take some time before this technology is fully implemented, and these types of accidents will continue to occur. A person who has been injured in a collision caused by a sleep-deprived driver may want to speak with an attorney in order to determine the legal recourse that may be available.