Much like drunk and distracted driving, drowsy driving puts thousands of drivers in danger across the country every year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,550 people die every year due to driver fatigue. Additionally, U.S. law enforcement officials report at least 100,000 drowsy driving accidents and 71,000 related injuries on average each year nationwide.
In Washington State, we continue to see related accidents being reported quite often. The latest related collision involved a 40-year-old man from Olympia and his 47-year-old passenger.
While driving south on U.S. 101 on Friday evening, Washington officials reported, the man fell asleep at the wheel, driving off the road and down an embankment. After crashing into several trees, officials said that the driver called 911 for help. Both the driver and his passenger were transported to Mason General Hospital for medical treatment.
Washington State Patrol officials who responded to the accident said the driver fell asleep at the wheel prior to the collision.
Officials Urge Drivers To Get Enough Sleep To Avoid Drowsy Driving Accidents
Washington drivers must keep in mind that drowsy driving is more common than they might think.
One of the main factors behind incidents involving sleepy drivers is sleep deprivation and other sleep-related disorders.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who sleep six to seven hours every night are twice as likely to fall asleep at the wheel while those who sleep less than 5 hours are four times more likely to become drowsy while driving. As a matter of fact, researchers in Australia found that staying awake for 18 hours led to impairment that was equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05 and .10 after 24 hours. In other words, if you’re not sleeping enough, you are not fit to drive.
Drive responsibly to avoid similar accidents and remember that getting enough rest can save your life. For more on this accident, follow this link.