Drowsy Driving Behind Many Auto Accidents, NHTSA Officials Say
Apr 28, 2015
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 28, 2015 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced new efforts to combat drowsy driving, which it said causes more car accidents than most people realize.
Mark Rosekind, the head of the NHTSA, said that the problem of driving while fatigued is not receiving as much attention as those of driving while drunk or distracted. The agency, he promised, will add to its research and public awareness efforts to change that.
“Drowsy driving is undeniably the cause of many car accidents that result in serious injury or death,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa car accident attorney with Joyce & Reyes. “People are aware that drunk driving and distracted driving are extremely dangerous, but many people drive while fatigued and do not realize the harm they could cause.”
Rosekind cited current estimates, which indicate that driver fatigue causes between 2.0 percent and 20.0 percent of traffic fatalities each year. However, he added that part of the difficulty in addressing the problem is that newer data is needed.
The NHTSA previously reported that drowsy driving was a factor in crashes that caused 1,500 fatalities per year. However, a newer study by the National Transportation Safety Board indicated that between 4,000 and 7,000 lives are lost each year because of driver fatigue. Rosekind said additional research would show the true extent of the problem.
Rosekind stated that the agency will develop public awareness strategies that target populations that are particularly vulnerable to drowsy driving, and that it would also examine technological solutions. Rosekind noted that part of the solution will include high-tech items — such as in-car devices that can detect driver behavior and issue warnings before a vehicle is about to drift off the roadway.
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Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
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