A 31-year-old man died April 30th  when he collided with the rear of a gasoline tanker at a Palm Harbor intersection, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The man was driving north on U.S. 19 in a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and was approaching the intersection of Alderman Road. The driver failed to stop and hit the back of the tanker, driven by a 37-year-old man. The 31-year-old vehicle driver was taken to Florida Hospital, where he later died from his injuries.
Drowsy Drivers Near Ocala
While the cause of the April 30th collision is unclear, the early morning timing of the crash suggests that driver drowsiness could have played a role. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) 2005 Sleep in America poll, 60% of adult drivers, about 168 million people, say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy and more than one-third, or 103 million people, have actually fallen asleep at the wheel. In fact, of those who have nodded off, 13% say they have done so at least once a month. Four percent, approximately eleven million drivers, admit they have had an accident or near accident because they dozed off or were too tired to drive.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. These figures may be the tip of the iceberg since currently it’s difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness.
Who Is at Risk for Falling Asleep While Driving in Ocala?
Sleep related crashes are most common in young people, especially men, adults with children and shift workers. According to the NSF’s poll:
- Adults between 18-29 are much more likely to drive while drowsy compared to other age groups.
- Men are more likely than women to drive while drowsy (56% vs. 45%) and are almost twice as likely as women to fall asleep while driving (22% vs. 12%).
- Adults with children in the household are more likely to drive drowsy than those without children (59% vs. 45%).
- Shift workers are more likely than those who work a regular daytime schedule to drive to or from work drowsy at least a few days a month (36% vs. 25%).
- People who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in such a crash as those sleeping 8 hours or more while people sleeping less than 5 hours increased their risk four to five times.
Nearly one in five drivers (22%) said they pull over to nap when driving drowsy, although older adults are more likely to pull over and nap than younger drivers, who are most likely to drive when drowsy.
Prevent Drowsy Driving in Ocala Florida
There are a few things you should do before taking the wheel to prevent driving while drowsy.
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep a day while teens need at least 8 hours.
- Develop good sleeping habits such as sticking to a sleep schedule.
- If you have a sleep disorder, or have symptoms of a sleep disorder such as snoring or feeling sleepy during the day, talk to your physician about treatment options.
- If you are feeling tired or sick, stay off the road and ask a family member or friend to do any necessary driving on your behalf.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or taking medications that make you sleepy. Be sure to check the label on any medications or talk to your pharmacist.
A skilled Ocala auto accident lawyer at Meldon Law could review your event and figure out what individual or business enterprise could be responsible for your injuries, damages, and also lost wages. Call our office today for a free consultation at (352) 629-5700 or (800) 373-8000 or use our online form.
808 East Fort King Street Suite A
Ocala, FL 34471