Similar to other major urban areas, driving in Las Vegas can put you at risk of injuries in a serious car accident. In particular, when you get behind the wheel of a car after failing to get enough sleep the night before, you can lose the ability to focus on the task of driving, and you can get involved in a severe collision. Whether you are renting a car during a vacation in Las Vegas with plans to drive on the Strip, or you are living in Las Vegas and regularly find yourself behind the wheel of your automobile as you drive to work or to retail establishments in the area, it is important to understand the risks of drowsy driving, why it happens, and how to avoid crashes caused by fatigue.
According to a report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, lack of sleep and general fatigue can increase your risk of being in a collision in a serious way. To be sure, “crash risk rises dramatically with only one to two hours of sleep less than the recommended average of seven hours of sleep per night.”
It is important to recognize that drowsy driving accidents do not just happen at night when drivers are used to being asleep. In other words, fatigued driving collisions can happen on the Strip late at night when drivers are on vacation and are staying awake longer than they normally would at home, but many drowsy driving crashes actually occur during daylight hours when drivers simply have not gotten enough sleep the previous night. The AAA Foundation recently reported that “driving after only 4-5 hours of sleep compared with 7 hours or more is similar to the U.S. government’s estimates of the risk associated with driving with a blood alcohol concentration equal to or slightly above the legal limit for alcohol in the U.S.”
In other words, drowsy driving can pose risks similar to drunk driving in Las Vegas.
How often do drowsy driving crashes occur? And how frequently do drivers get behind the wheel in Las Vegas without getting enough rest? According to a report in the Las Vegas Sun, “Las Vegas still has some of the worst drivers in the nation,” with frequent accidents happening on Interstate 15 near the Strip and throughout the city. Does drowsy driving play a role in these crashes?
We have compiled the following statistics from the AAA Foundation, the National Sleep Foundation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Nevada Department of Public Safety:
To prevent a drowsy driving accident in Las Vegas, you should be alert for fatigued drivers on the road, and you should also know the ways to prevent a drowsy driving collision. According to the CDC, some signs of a drowsy driver can include:
Remember that drowsy driving collisions occur on the Las Vegas Beltway, but they can also happen in slower traffic on the Strip. What steps can you take to prevent a drowsy driving crash in Las Vegas? The NHTSA and the CDC recommend the following:
Drowsy driving crashes can happen anywhere and at any speed—from low-speed fender benders on the Strip to high-speed collisions on the Las Vegas Beltway. If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries in an accident caused by a fatigued driver, you should reach out to a Las Vegas car accident attorney to learn more about your options for seeking compensation. The attorneys at Ladah Law can help. Contact us today by calling (702) 252-0055.