The holidays are a joyous time for loved ones to get together and celebrate. Many of these celebrations end in tragedy due to drunk driving. The last week of December and first week of January are some of the most dangerous times to be out on the roads. In 2015, over 10,000 people died in drunk driving accidents. From 6 p.m. December 24, 2015 to 5:59 a.m. December 28, 2015, over 120 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. The New Year's holiday was also devastating with 139 people killed in drunk driving car accidents from 6 p.m. December 31, 2014 to 5:59 a.m. January 5, 2015.
A nurse who suffers various health problems, including regular headaches explained the cause of her medical problems. She says, some years ago, after working all night on an overnight shift, she got in her car and proceeded to drive home. She remembers feeling tired and considering a quick stop to buy something like coffee or soda to wake her up. However, she was so close to her home that she decided not to stop.
Distracted driving is not a new problem in the United States. It is no secret that the use of electronic devices while driving is on the rise, causing serious accidents on the New York roadways.
We hear stories all the time about how drunk drivers and distracted drivers are responsible for many of the accidents that occur in New York City. However, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that every year, 100,000 reported car accidents involve a tired driver. These accidents cause over 70,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths annually. A lack of sleep can negatively affect a driver's mental processing and reaction time, making an accident more likely.
People who are injured in automobile accidents often say they never feel the same. Even years later, they may have a twinge or stiffness when the weather gets colder, or they may suffer chronic, debilitating pain. Some may deal with injuries so serious they can't live a normal life.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported over 5.5 million car accidents in 2012. Since then, New York has been making significant progress in reducing the number of accidents on the roadways. Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration have attempted to cut down on car accident fatalities on the streets of New York with his Vision Zero plan. The plan works to increase law enforcement efforts, improve road safety and upgrade equipment and technology.
Many New York car accidents are caused by drivers that are not fully focused on the road. A lack of sleep can result in an inability to focus and sleepiness while driving. A recent study reveals that drivers with sleep apnea are more likely to drive erratically than those without the disorder. Sleep apnea causes disrupted breathing while a person is sleeping at night, thereby causing sleepiness during the day. Falling asleep behind the wheel has caused numerous car accidents.
Law enforcement has a system for finding out whether a driver was under the influence of alcohol. If the officer has reason to suspect drunk driving, he will ask the driver to submit to a Breathalyzer test. Breathalyzers measure the blood alcohol content of the driver and will help determine whether he will be arrested for a DUI.
In lieu of taxicabs, many New Yorkers nowadays count on Uber and other ridesharing services to get around the city. As a result, there are more car accidents involving these for-hire vehicles than ever before. Statistics show from July 2014 to June 2016, accidents involving ridesharing vehicles have more than tripled from 534 to 1,672.
In today's society, getting enough sleep feels like an impossibility. This lack of sleep is harming us more than we think. A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association states that an estimated 83.6 million sleep-deprived drivers hit the roads daily, putting themselves and others at risk. In 2015, approximately 5,000 people lost their lives in drowsy driving crashes. On average, 328,000 drowsy driving car accidents occur in the United States every year.