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Triple Fatal Accident Serves as a Reminder to Pennsylvania Drivers of the Dangers of Drowsy Driving

An early morning accident on Saturday left three people dead and two others seriously injured after the driver apparently fell asleep behind the wheel.  The single-car crash occurred around 2:15 a.m. on I-81 north near Butler Township after the car traveled across the grass median and slammed into the concrete bridge support beam.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drowsy driving accidents cause more than 100,000 crashes a year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and approximately 1,550 deaths.  However, the NHTSA believes these numbers are actually much higher due to underreported drowsy driving accidents.

One of the leading causes of drowsy driving is shift work.  With irregular hours, long shifts, and disrupted sleep patterns, the NHTSA reports shift workers run a particularly high risk of drowsy driving crashes.

However, anyone that is sleep deprived is a danger on the highway.  The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reports that someone who has been awake for more than 20 hours has an impairment equal to a drunk driver with a blood alcohol content of .08.

If you experience any warning signs that you are sleepy, the NSF recommends you pull over immediately at a safe place, switch drivers, take a short nap, consume caffeine or find a place to sleep for the night.

While most people are aware that they are getting drowsy, following are some key warning signs from the NSF to alert you to the fact that you are too tired to drive:

  • Trouble focusing, keeping your eyes open or your head up
  • Yawning or rubbing your eyes repeatedly
  • Daydreaming and wandering thoughts
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating and missing signs or exits
  • Feeling restless, irritable or aggressive
  • Turning up the radio or rolling down the window
  • Slower reaction time, poor judgment

Our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys encourage drivers to think twice about driving when they are sleepy or fatigued.  Arriving a few minutes late after taking a break is better than not arriving at all due to an accident.  Focus on your safety and others before getting behind the wheel.

About Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

Munley Law is a Pennsylvania accident and injury law firm that represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those injured in accidents that involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving and careless driving in hazardous weather conditions. The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm’s additional practice areas include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents. To contact the law firm, use the firm’s online contact form.

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Posted in Car Accidents.


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