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A sleeping threat: Many drivers admit snoozing at the wheel

Any number of factors can come to affect a person's ability to safely operate his or her car and avoid causing a car accident. While many might assume drunk driving is the most pervasive type of impairment for those behind the wheel, a recent study might challenge that thought. In fact, nearly one-third of drivers admit falling asleep at some point, which should be of great concern to other motorists in Naperville.

The Centers for Disease Control recently released a study showing that "one of every 24 U.S. adults say they've fallen asleep while driving at least once during the previous month." These figures are based on self-reported data, so the number might actually be higher. Interestingly enough, people may not even know they have fallen asleep while driving, since it's possible to nod off for just a moment or two.

When people are traveling at highway speeds, falling asleep -- even for just a couple seconds -- exposes countless drivers and their passengers to serious danger. National statistics show that nearly 100,000 car accidents, 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities occur each year at the hands of overly-tired drivers.

These startling numbers are symptomatic of a deep problem, which is probably why a number of auto manufacturers are developing technology to alert drivers if they are exhibiting signs of fatigue on the road. Rather than relying on technology, drivers should do the responsible thing and refrain from driving if they know they are too tired, much like those who have had one too many alcoholic drinks.

Motorists have a duty to operate their vehicles with caution. As such, those on the road are entitled to feel assured that fellow motorists have taken measures to ensure that they can have the ability to drive effectively and without incident.

Source: NBC News, "Automakers look to curb drowsy driving," Paul A. Eisenstein, Jan. 9, 2013

  • Our firm has experience helping car accident victims understand their legal rights and responsibilities in the days and weeks after an incident. To learn more, please visit our DuPage County car crash page.

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