Omaha Attorneys Discuss Best Ideas to Prevent Drowsy Driving Crashes
Nobody chooses to fall asleep at the wheel but when drivers are tired enough, it can happen in an instant.
In a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, more than 40 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once since they started driving. In addition, 20 percent admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once within the past year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving is a factor in roughly 100,000 crashes across the United States each year. This results in an average of 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries.
Anyone can fall asleep at the wheel, but some drivers are at a higher risk than others. These include:
- Young drivers
- Night shift workers
- Commercial drivers
- Business travelers
- People with untreated sleep disorders
How Nebraska is dealing with drowsy driving
The Nebraska Department of Transportation, Highway Safety Office (NDOT-HSO) recently received a $15,000 grant to initiate a campaign dubbed “Don’t Snooze and Cruise” to help prevent drowsy driving, according to an article in Lexch.com. An official announcement of the funds was made by the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) and The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF)
This year is the third that the GHSA and NRSF have provided grants to assist states in preventing drowsy driving. This is the second year that NDOT has received funding.
The program is intended to help educate young adult drivers and senior citizens on drowsy driving prevention, in addition to providing community-based workshops.
According to Mark Segerstrom, NDOT-Highway Safety Administrator, drowsy driving causes more than 300 crashes each year in Nebraska.
“We are eager to continue our work in informing and educating Nebraskans about the dangers of drowsy driving," he said. "Sleep debt is only relieved by actually sleeping. If you are tired, pull over to the side of the road and take a power nap for 15-20 minutes. We want to see everyone return home safely - every day.”
Drowsy driving prevention
Drowsy driving doesn’t just occur out of the blue. There are usually signs and symptoms to watch out for before it happens. These include:
- Difficulty keeping eyes open
- Poor focus, daydreaming, and wandering thoughts
- Frequent yawning or need to rub eyes
- Trouble staying in lane
- Tailgating and/or missing signs or exits
- Reduced reaction time and judgment
- Restlessness, irritability, and aggressive behavior
If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash with a driver who fell asleep at the wheel, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
An experienced car accident attorney at Ausman Law Firm P.C., L.L.O. can help you through the process. We’re dedicated to advocating for injured motorists and their families throughout greater Omaha. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.