Federal authorities are warning of a danger that most people have probably experienced at some point in their life: driving while drowsy. Statistics show that many Americans readily admit to coming perilously close to falling asleep behind the wheel. An even more troubling statistic shows that many people actually do doze while driving.
And according to federal data, more than 11,000 people died in drowsiness-related crashes in the decade between 2000 and 2010.
While the danger of drowsy driving is nothing new, experts are beginning to focus on what makes this problem so hard to solve. For example, police officers cannot rely on objective and durable evidence to prove that a driver was asleep on the road. Drunk or texting drivers leave evidence behind, including blood samples and phone records.
Even when laws prohibit drowsy driving, they probably do little to encourage people to take steps to stay awake – prosecutors know that they would have a hard time actually proving a case like this.
Victims can also use civil claims to hold drivers accountable for this kind of negligence. An experienced personal injury law firm can help explore options.
Source: ABC News, “Drowsy Driving Remains an Elusive Highway Dilemma,” Frank Eltman, May 11, 2013