The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released new information suggesting drowsy driving may be linked to far more traffic accidents than previously thought. According to estimates, 1.2 million motor vehicle crashes may be caused by drowsy driving each year, which is significantly higher than other research has shown in the past. The claim is based on a previous study, which used a different methodology to calculate the total.
In addition to the NHTSA information, a new campaign initiated to help raise awareness about the problem, which transportation safety advocates say is one that the American driving public overlooks on a broad scale has garnered widespread attention and re-sparked conversations about drowsy driving among commercial truck drivers. According to Texas truck wreck lawyer Amy Witherite, the conversation that began following a fatal truck crash involving celebrity Tracy Morgan two years ago has been refueled in part by the Change.org campaign, which allows people to take an online pledge to not drive if they feel sleepy.
Says Witherite, many of those commenting about the campaign are truck drivers who admit to frequently driving while fatigued. This type of admission is necessary to help illustrate how commonplace it is for truckers to fail to follow protocol when it comes to driving while fatigued. Witherite says that truck driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents in the U.S. overall, and the number of injury cases handled by her firm help provide supporting evidence of this fact. “Since our firm opened, we have received too many cases to count that involved truck drivers driving for extended hours and causing a crash because of their compromised performance ability.”
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