The dangers of driving while drowsy are obvious. Driving tired is much like driving drunk. Fatigue affects your reaction time, awareness of hazards and concentration. Tired drivers are three times more likely to be involved in crashes than attentive drivers.
About half of adult drivers confess to regularly driving while tired. Some 20 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel in the past year.
Distracted driving also continues to take a toll. Roughly nine people die each day due to distracted driving. More than 1,000 sustain nonfatal injuries.
Cellphones and other handheld technology is to blame. Don’t forget old-fashioned distractions, however. They include:
- Eating while driving
- Taking your eyes off the road to speak with a passenger
- Adjusting the car radio
How technology can prevent drowsy driving and distraction
Across the Atlantic Ocean, the European Commission is mandating new technology starting with vehicles in 2022 that warns motorists of driver drowsiness and distraction. Studies show that drowsy driving leads to 20 percent of accidents, and driver distraction responsible for 30 percent of crashes.
The technology involves an interior monitoring system. Using cameras and artificial intelligence, the system detects when a driver’s eyelids grow heavy or when they are looking at their phone or another passenger instead of focusing on the road.
The system can alert drivers to take a break in a variety of manners, through an audio signal, lights or vibrating the steering wheel. It can even reduce the speed of the vehicle.
Protect yourself before the technology is available
While evolving technology may someday save lives, today’s roadways are still populated by motorists who are either tired or ignoring their obligation to drive safely. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drowsy or distracted driver, proving they are responsible is difficult. They are unlikely to admit they were at fault. They may blame you for the accident. You may have suffered debilitating injuries and be out of work, unable to pay bills or support your family. Don’t expect any help for an insurance company, which will pressure you to accept a lowball settlement because they know you are in a financial bind.
New Mexico car accident lawyer Andras Szantho has been fighting on behalf of clients just like you since 2007. His primary focus is on car accidents and personal injury law, giving him the blend of experience necessary to help you and your family. A former prosecutor, he possesses the discipline and expertise to put your life back on track. Contact him today for a free case evaluation.