Late last year, a driver on LA 34 headed west crossed over into the eastbound lane. The car struck two vehicles headed east. Two of the drivers sustained life-threatening injuries, while the third driver, a 69-year-old Louisiana man, tragically died.
The cause of the accident remains a mystery. However, police suspect “fatigued driving” as the likely cause, according to recent news reports.
Fatigued driving statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatigued driving kills around 800 individuals in the United States each year. In fact, the NHTSA reports that fatigued drivers cause over 70,000 car accidents each year across the nation, which is almost 200 accidents per day.
Why are there so many accidents involving fatigued drivers? Researchers believe the cause might be the lack of sleep Americans receive each night. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over one-third of Americans are receiving less than seven hours of sleep a night, which is the amount of sleep recommended by doctors.
Sleep deprivation has several effects on the human body. Commonly, a lack of sleep can cause trouble concentrating, memory issues, slower motor skills and reaction times, poor coordination and other issues that can affect a person’s ability to drive safely.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms while driving, it is likely a sign you should pull off the road:
- Excessive blinking
- Trouble remembering the last few seconds of driving
- Drifting between lanes
- Going over the rubber strip on the shoulder
Tragically, many people ignore the signs of fatigued driving. This causes thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities each year. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a car accident, consult with a personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.