Washington DC’s American Automobile Association Finds that One in Six Fatal Crashes Involves Sleepy Drivers

By Peter DePaolis

The American Automobile Association (AAA) released a new study on drowsy drivers revealing that they account for more vehicle accidents and deaths than previously thought. Based out of Washington, D.C., AAA found that forty-one percent of drivers in the country have fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point. About one in every six fatal car accidents involve a drowsy driver.

The study also looked into drivers’ attitudes towards sleepiness when driving and found that most overestimate their abilities to drive while tired. More than a quarter of the survey’s participants said that they had driven in the past month despite struggling to keep their eyes open. 59% of those who fell asleep while driving said they did so within one hour of getting behind the wheel. AAA also found that drivers under the age of 25 are almost twice as likely to be in a crash involving drowsy drivers.

AAA recommends that drivers not get behind the wheel if they are too tired. For people who insist on driving regardless, AAA provides several pointers:

  1. Stop and rest every 100 miles or every two hours
  2. Drive with a rested passenger
  3. Drink a caffeinated beverage.

Those who choose to drive while drowsy put themselves and others at risk. People and their loved ones who have been in an accident that was caused by a drowsy driver may wish to consult a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer.

For more information on your legal options following an automobile accident, contact William P. Lightfoot, a Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.