Drowsy driving causing car accidents in Tennessee

Driver fatigue has become a significant threat on Tennessee roads and throughout the country as more car accidents are being attributed to drowsy driving. Drowsy driving is very dangerous and has caused roughly 100,000 accidents last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Drowsy driving reportedly caused 5,000 to 6,000 fatal car accidents last year, the NHTSA reported. They also said that sleepiness could contribute up to one-third of all fatal car wrecks in the U.S. Officials say that drowsy driving is a significant safety issue but the public is not aware of the dangers associated with drowsy driving and driver fatigue.

Safety officials say that driver fatigue can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Studies found that a person who is awake for 18 consecutive hours has the same driving capabilities as someone who has a blood-alcohol content of .10, which shows just how dangerous drowsy driving can be.

Driver fatigue increases the chances of being in a car accident and safety officials are trying to raise awareness of the warning signs associated with drowsy driving. Below are some of the most common signs of drowsy driving:

  • Drifting between lanes
  • Difficulty remembering the last few miles driven
  • Yawning or blinking frequently
  • Missing exits or changing speeds without noticing

Safety officials say that drivers who exhibit any of these symptoms need to stop driving and rest before getting back on the road. Officials also recommend that drivers taking long trips plan to take rest breaks and be able to recognize when they are too sleep to drive safely.

Unfortunately, drowsy driving has become a serious threat on the road but there are steps drivers can take to keep themselves and others safe on the road by recognizing the warning signs of fatigued driving.

Source: Times Daily, "Asleep at the wheel," Tom Smith, May 4, 2013

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