As Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys we are too familiar with the personal injuries and wrongful deaths caused by distracted driving . However, there is an equally dangerous behind the wheel activity which does not get as much publicity as distracted driving, and its something too many drivers do, drive while drowsy. In fact, according to governmental studies, more than 1000 people die each year in car accidents and truck accidents caused by a drowsy driver.
One of the reasons drowsy driving is difficult to reduce is that police are unable to determine when an accident is caused by a drowsy or sleeping driver. Unlike drunk driving accidents, in which police can measure whether someone is under the influence, or a distracted driving accident, in which cell phone records may reveal what a driver was doing at the time of a crash, there is no way to measure how sleepy a driver was when an accident happened.
And while the commercial trucking industry is subject to various limits on the number of hours a driver may operate a vehicle before being required to sleep, those limits are often exceeded because those drivers keep their own logs.
Because drowsy driving is an activity that most motorists have done, thinking they were alert enough to drive, this problem it is difficult to educate against. As for legislation, only one state has passed a law penalizing drowsy driving. Other states have taken measures to awaken drowsy drivers by installing rumble strips and other physical lane restraining devices to alert drivers who may be drifting out of their lane of travel of travel. Despite folklore, activities including loud music, talking or eating do not cause a drowsy driver to be more alert.
As Miami personal injury lawyers we believe that the results of the Centers for Disease Control study which found that nearly 5% of all drivers briefly fell asleep at least once a month, are alarming and require greater driver education, particularly among new drivers of the dangers that such drowsy behavior may cause.