Good drivers don’t drive under the influence. Drunk driving has been highly advertised to the point where most reasonable people are aware of its effects and will make sure to avoid turning the key, most adults drink with friends or at a bar meaning there will most likely be at least one other supervision which is better than none.
‘A car crashed and turned over to its side on Highway 14 after the driver fell asleep at the wheel, Vancouver, WA.’
‘Drowsy driver caused crash that killed two people along Highway 9 near Marysville.’
‘A motorcyclist died Sunday night in an accident on Interstate 405, caused by the driver of a car who fell asleep at the wheel.’
These are few of the many incidents that appeared from a simple google search with the keywords: drowsy driving Washington State. These are harsh results from societal exhaustion. Due to the economy and wealth distribution system; people are working longer hours, a surging increase in sleep apnea and acute insomnia in adults, and high school and college students stay up for in 24-48 hours intermittently to study for tests or finish papers.
Sleep deprivation and automobile use is a fatal combination. There were 10 deaths and 77 serious injuries in Washington during 2013 that were declared caused by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel. Drowsy drivers are involved in an estimated 21% of all fatal crashes. Nationwide, drowsy drivers have caused 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents each year, according to the AAA Foundation.
A study by researchers in Australia showed that being awake for 18 hours produced an impairment equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05, and .10 after 24 hours; .08 is considered legally drunk in Washington state.
The only way to change the mindset and habits about driving without having slept in over 20 hours is to implement laws and penalties, similar to drunk driving prevention three decades ago. Every Washington driver, every law enforcement, every judge needs to fully grasp the seriousness of drowsy driving. There needs to be change.
Drowsy driving kills, injures and shatters lives just the same as drunk drivers do. Ask the family and friends of those lost or injured due to drowsy driving. Just ask my cousin.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident contact the experienced Vancouver personal injury attorneys from Caron, Colven, Robinson, & Shafton (CCRS) Law. CCRS Law has been successful in representing clients who have been involved in truck, car, pedestrian, motorcycle and other accidents in Vancouver WA.