Driving while fatigued a deadly problem
Some Indiana drivers may be among those that AAA says have driven while fatigued. According to a recent AAA survey, more than 40 percent of drivers reported dropping off while driving at some point in their lives. Almost 40 percent of drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 and nearly one-third of drivers regardless of age said that they had struggled to stay awake while driving in the past month.
National Driving Drowsy Prevention Week aims to educate individuals about the dangers of driving while fatigued, and on Nov. 4, a representative from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration addressed the Asleep at the Wheel forum in Washington, D.C. He said that between 5,000 and 7,000 traffic-related fatalities annually could be attributed to drowsy drivers.
In 2010, AAA found that about 16.5 percent of fatal accidents are due to fatigued drivers. The NHTSA is attempting to raise awareness about the dangers of driving while sleepy and encourage people to stay home rather than attempt to drive if fatigued.
Injuries from accidents caused by sleep-deprived drivers may be permanent or may require long recovery periods. People may incur brain injuries or may need to use wheelchairs after an accident caused by a drowsy motorist. Medical costs may be high, and the victims may be unable to work for long periods or may need to take a different type of job. Insurance companies may offer a low amount for compensation, and an injured victim may thus want to speak to an attorney about filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent motorist seeking compensation for the losses that have been sustained.