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Drowsy driving: the underestimated safety problem?

A driver is generally quite different behind the wheel when drowsy. The effects of fatigued driving actually aren’t far off from the effects of drunk driving. Despite this, tired driving is something many drivers fail to avoid.

Given this, fatigued driving has big impacts out on America’s roads. A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association underscores this. The report estimated the overall cost of drowsy driving out on U.S. roads for last year. The estimate came out to $109 billion. And this is just the monetary costs. The overall human costs of tired driving crashes are also considerable.

Even with these big costs, drowsy driving remains an underestimated traffic safety problem, the report indicates. It doesn’t always get the same level of focus and attention as other types of dangerous driving.

There could be many reasons for this. One might have to do with that its hard to determine how many accidents drowsy driving is actually behind, as there are many difficulties connected to detecting and proving drowsy driving in accidents.

Underestimating how big of a traffic safety problem a given type of unsafe conduct is can have many negative impacts. For one, it could lead to motorists not putting as big of a focus on staying clear of this conduct as they should. It could also lead to state governments and the federal government not taking as aggressive of efforts to combat the conduct as they do with other types of conduct that are causing a similar level of danger.

Do you think more should be done here in Florida to combat drowsy driving? What things do you think would go farthest in rolling back the underestimation of drowsy driving’s dangers?

Getting the full scope of the problem of drowsy driving across to drivers and society is not the only thing that the difficulty in proving drowsy driving as an accident cause poses challenges in relationship to. It can also create difficulties for victims of drowsy driving crashes in getting fair compensation for the injuries another driver’s fatigued driving caused them. Experienced attorneys can assist victims of such accidents with the unique evidentiary challenges that can come up with trying to show that drowsy driving was behind a given crash.

Source: USA Today, “Report: Drowsy driving is a sleeper threat in crashes,” Bart Jansen, Aug. 8, 2016

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