Motor vehicle accident fatalities have increased sharply for two consecutive years in Georgia and around the country after years of gradual decline, and road safety experts say that a surge in distracted and drowsy driving is one of the primary reasons. Studies reveal that about one in five deadly crashes involves a drowsy driver, and the figures suggest that many of them may have already been dangerously fatigued when they got behind the wheel. According to data from the Translational Research and Injury Prevention Laboratory, motorists who sleep five or fewer hours each night are five times more likely to crash than drivers who sleep for seven or more hours.
Drivers can reduce their chances of being in a drowsy driving car accident by watching for signs of fatigue such as swerving or falling asleep momentarily while sitting in traffic or waiting at a red light. Motorists may drink coffee, open a window or turn their radios up to combat fatigue, but experts say that these tactics are largely ineffective. Road safety groups and government safety agencies agree that sleep is the only certain cure for drowsy driving.
About nine road users are killed every day in accidents caused by distracted drivers according to the Department of Transportation, and texting is viewed by experts as particularly dangerous because it requires motorists to take their hands off the wheel as well as their eyes off the road. Laws restricting the use of electronic devices in vehicles and applications designed to make cell phones safer for drivers to use have failed to curb the problem, and most advocacy groups are now concentrating their efforts on campaigns that draw attention to the dangers and consequences of distraction.
When their clients may have been injured by a distracted or drowsy driver, experienced personal injury attorneys may look for evidence of negligence by studying the information found on automobile data recorders. These devices monitor drivers and keep a record of their actions, and they could reveal that no evasive action was taken in the moments leading up to a collision.