Kentucky drivers already know that fatigue may be a significant factor in many motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatigue may be responsible for at least 100,000 crashes annually, and this results in 71,000 injuries and more than 1,500 deaths.
In 2005, the National Sleep Foundation conducted a study that found that nearly two-thirds of all adult drivers reported driving while drowsy, and 37 percent said they had fallen asleep at the wheel. Drivers between the ages of 18 and 29, shift workers, women and adults with children are all more likely to drive while drowsy than other people. In addition to the dangers of falling asleep and poor reaction time, studies have also found that drivers report driving while drowsy makes them more likely to be stressed and impatient.
There is no test for driving while tired as there is for drunk driving. Police may not be trained in identifying fatigue in drivers, and drivers may not admit to being tired. There is no consistent method of reporting drowsy drivers across states. Furthermore, a 1999 poll found that most parents did not discuss these dangers with their children even though another poll in 2002 found that almost all participants agreed that the dangers should be addressed on driving tests.
People who suffer serious injuries in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver may be able to obtain compensation for the losses that they have sustained through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. Damages could include the costs of necessary medical care and treatment as well as lost wages due to an inability to work.