According to traffic safety experts, fatigued driving is a major cause of fatal car accidents each year in Tennessee and across the U.S. However, automakers are increasingly adding safety technology to their vehicles that could reduce such accidents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 25 percent of all fatal crashes are caused by drowsy drivers, which accounts for around 7,500 such accidents each year. In fact, the government recently issued a report blaming the 2014 New Jersey collision that injured comedian Tracy Morgan on driver fatigue. The Walmart truck driver who slammed into the back of Morgan's limo had not slept for 28 hours. According to studies, drivers who stay awake for 24 hours have the same cognitive deficits as drivers who are legally drunk.
However, as more vehicle manufacturers include anti-collision and anti-fatigue technology in their vehicles, these types of crashes may be reduced. Forward anti-collision technology, which uses cameras and lasers to avoid front-end crashes, is already becoming common. Research shows this technology can reduce rear-end collisions by approximately 10 percent. Lane and road departure warning systems are also becoming more popular and can reportedly reduce off-road crashes by around 40 percent. Finally, some high-end vehicles are beginning to include anti-fatigue technology that tracks a driver's alertness by analyzing steering patterns and sounds an alarm if the driver is sleepy.
Despite this promising technology, thousands of people are injured in fatigue-related crashes each year. A Tennessee resident who has been injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver may benefit by speaking with an attorney. In some cases, it may be possible to demonstrate that the responsible motorist was negligent through the use of the accident investigation report and other evidence.