With the holidays almost upon us, many West Virginia residents are making travel plans. You may be getting ready to drive out of state for Thanksgiving, as well as planning your annual Christmas trip. At Kuenzel Law, PLLC, we know that travel can be dangerous for drivers who are fatigued, especially when they drive long distances.

This year, the National Safety Council has designated November 3 through 10 as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. You may be interested in learning the following statistics about this dangerous driving practice:

  • In a study, about half of adult drivers admitted to regularly driving while fatigued and about 20% said they had fallen asleep while driving during the past year.
  • Going without sleep for more than 20 hours has the same impairment effects on driving as having a blood alcohol content of 0.08%, the legal limit.
  • More than 100,000 crashes, 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries are officially attributed to drowsy driving in the U.S. each year, but the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates the numbers to be more than three times higher, since it can be difficult to determine if a driver was sleep-impaired at the time of a crash.

You may decrease your risk of being in a sleep-related crash by getting a full night’s sleep before going on a road trip, by taking someone with you who can switch places driving and by pulling over in a safe place to rest if you start to become tired while behind the wheel. Our page on car accidents explains more about your rights if you are injured by a negligent driver.