People may find it hard to believe that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol. In fact, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving has caused nearly 300,000 car accidents, including 6,400 fatalities each year in the United States alone. Yet, many college students do not fully grasp how serious, and potentially life-threatening, drowsy driving can be. A recent study shows that college students who consider themselves to be safe drivers do not consider drowsy driving to be legally risky. Unfortunately, this can put them, and other drivers at risk of being in a serious accident.
The study was conducted by Dr. Kenneth Beck and colleagues from the University of Maryland in College Park. According to Beck, drowsy driving accidents are a major cause of serious injuries and fatalities. The research team divided 26 undergraduate college students into four focus groups. They were asked about their driving habits and what they considered to be risky driving behaviors, including drunk driving, talking on the phone, or texting while driving. They were also asked about what strategies they thought might improve traffic safety with an emphasis on drowsy driving.
College Students’ Perspective on Drowsy Driving
Most of the students surveyed said that they considered themselves to be safe drivers, particularly when there were other people in the car. When it came to drowsy driving, many of them did not consider drowsy driving to be as dangerous as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While they acknowledged the crash data, they did not did not think they were at risk.
The study participants also questioned the ability of police to enforce any laws against drowsy driving. A Breathalyzer test can confirm that a driver was legally drunk at the time of an accident. Police can check a person’s phone to confirm whether a call was made, or a text was sent at the time of an accident. Yet, there is no official test that can prove whether an individual was driving on too little sleep.
To develop more effective messages about drowsy driving, the participants suggested that many students would respond to graphic consequences of drowsy driving. If students could see a realistic depiction of crashes that involved gruesome injuries, it might motivate them to change their behavior. We need to remind drivers that drunk, drowsy, and distracted driving are the major causes of fatal car accidents in the United States. Fortunately, they are largely preventable, said Beck.
Baltimore Car Wreck Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving Accidents
If you have been injured in a car accident involving a drowsy driver, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car wreck lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will thoroughly investigate the details of your case and see to it that the responsible party is held accountable for their actions. We will obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, protecting your rights every step of the way. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.