Drowsy driving is a major cause of Florida car accidents. Indeed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving killed 795 people in 2017 alone. However, because this data relies only on police and hospital reports, traffic safety experts, sleep scientists, and public health organizations all agree that the actual number of deaths caused by drowsy driving is much higher.
The NHTSA has identified several characteristics that are common among drowsy driving accidents. For example, these accidents typically involve vehicles occupied only by the driver and occur in the late night/early morning hours or the midafternoon. They also usually involve one vehicle drifting off the road at a high speed, without the driver making any attempt at avoiding the collision. Needless to say, these accidents are also almost always catastrophic, frequently resulting in serious injury or death.
Perhaps the most common cause of drowsy driving is a motorist’s lack of sleep. Thus, overnight workers are at unusually high risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. There is also evidence that unrecognized sleep disorders cause a significant number of drowsy driving accidents. Also, the ingestion of alcohol or certain medications may also result in a sudden onset of extreme fatigue.