According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 633 people died in drowsy-driving crashes in 2020. The NHTSA attributes diminished work-life balance because of a more technologically advanced and connected world to low sleep quality, which is a factor in many fatigued driving incidents. Although the NHTSA acknowledges that fatigued driving is a problem, determining a precise number of crashes and injuries from fatigued driving is difficult, and crash investigators cannot always directly identify an accident caused by a drowsy driver. Fatigued driving crashes are often single-driver crashes that occur when people experience dips in their circadian rhythm late at night and in the late afternoon. But NHTSA acknowledges that sleepiness can cause crashes at any time and in myriad ways, including in ways that injure other drivers, as evidenced by one recent accident.
According to a recent article, three people were injured in a crash in Fairfield, Maine. Both drivers in the two-car crash and a passenger were taken to the hospital but have since been released. A 36-year-old man drove across the center line at around 9 p.m., hitting a 68-year-old man driving a truck and his passenger. Police are still investigating the crash but say driver fatigue is a possible factor.
Alert Driving Tips
Everyone has a duty to drive safely on the roads we share. While it can be easy to be angry at fatigued drivers, there’s a good chance everyone has been in a situation where they should not have been behind the wheel at the end of a long day. Look out for your fellow drivers and stay alert with these tips from the NHTSA.