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The frequency of drowsy driving

Drivers in Pennsylvania may be shocked to learn that drowsy driving was involved in 1.4 percent of all traffic collisions between 2005 and 2009, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drowsy driving was also involved in 2.2 percent of injury-causing crashes and 2.5 percent of deadly crashes, according to this data.

However, a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that the prevalence of drowsy driving is higher. Examining data from 2009 to 2013, the foundation concluded that 2 percent of the 25,528 drivers involved in 14,268 traffic accidents were reported as drowsy following an assessment by trained investigators. In comparison, 5 percent were reported as not seeing the other vehicle, 8 percent were distracted, 35 percent were attentive and 51 percent were unknown.

When the foundation imputed missing attentiveness values, it found that 3.5 percent of the drivers who were originally reported as unknown were actually drowsy. After combining the cases reported as drowsy and those originally reported as unknown, it is estimated that 3.3 percent of all crashes involved drowsy drivers.

Based on the severity of the crashes, 3 percent of the 14,268 drivers involved in non-injury accidents were drowsy. However, 4 percent of drivers were drowsy in crashes involving injuries, 8 percent were drowsy in crashes for which someone was hospitalized and 15 percent were drowsy in fatal accidents. Additionally, a drowsy driver was estimated to be involved in 6 percent of all 25,528 crashes, 7 percent of injury-related crashes, 13 percent of severe-injury crashes and 21 percent of deadly crashes.

When vehicle occupants are injured or killed in car accidents resulting from drowsy driving, the victims or their family members may file lawsuits in pursuit of compensation for the damages. Before submitting personal injury or wrongful death claims, the victims and relatives might talk to attorneys about the strength of their cases and the likelihood of receiving compensation.

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