Truck drivers in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and surrounding areas have limits on the number of hours that they are allowed to operate their vehicles. There are both daily and weekly limits, in order to ensure that truckers do not stay in their vehicles too long and become fatigued. A personal injury lawyer knows that a fatigued driver is a dangerous driver who is significantly more likely to get into a truck accident than someone who is not overtired and starting to nod off.
The average motorist, of course, is not subject to any limitations on the number of hours he or she can spend behind the wheel or the amount of time that the motorist must rest before driving again. Motorists are expected to make responsible choices and stop driving when they become too tired to be safe.
Unfortunately, many drivers do not live up to that responsibility and drowsy driving collisions happen as a result. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the agency's intention to try to tackle the problem of drowsy driving this year in order to reduce the number of people harmed in preventable collisions by tired drivers.
Drowsy Driving is Difficult to Stop
The NHTSA has provided information to Automobile Magazine about the agency's plans to address drowsy driving. NHTSA officials believe that this issue is an important one because lack of sleep is a universal problem and anyone could get tired behind the wheel.
The NHTSA, however, is short on specifics about exactly what the agency is going to do to make a meaningful difference in helping to keep tired motorists off the road and stop them from being a menace to themselves and to others.
One plan put forth by the NHTSA is to conduct more research and obtain more data about the causes of drowsy driving. The reality, however, is that a lot of research has already been done on this topic. Research has also been done on the prevalence of people who start to nod off or doze while driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, published a comprehensive report in 2013 indicating that around four percent of drivers had fallen asleep while they were behind the wheel in the month before they had taken the survey.
The NHTSA also has a plan to do more public education. Public education and sharing knowledge is always a good thing because it can help to shape driver behavior. However, its effects are limited. Most everyone already knows that it is dangerous to fall asleep behind the wheel and more public education is not going to make that reality any clearer.
Finally, the NHTSA plans to do further research into whether legal or technological solutions could be an effective way to combat the problem of drowsy driving. This may be the most promising step taken by the NHTSA because real innovative and new solutions need to be developed to keep people from getting behind the wheel and staying there when they are too tired.
An attorney at Lawter & Associates, Attorneys at Law, PLLC can help after a motor vehicle accident. Call 866-584-1027 or 866-584-1028 for a free case evaluation. Serving Tulsa, Oklahoma City and surrounding areas.