Study Shows Fatigued Driving is worse than DUI

I came a across this article that highlights some of the points I have been writing about on this blog for quite some time.  As a DUI Lawyer in Pennsylvania, I have represented countless cases and have spent years researching and learning more about DUI and have come to the conclusion that our government is making laws and decisions based on special interests, not science.  This is endangering all of us and people are dying because of the negligence of our lawmakers to address these issues.

Here is an investigative article that furthers my point:

Driving While Tired: Safety officials are slow to react to operator fatigue

NTSB recommendations ignored or abandoned, while hundreds die in accidents, investigation finds

A sleep-deprived person behind the wheel or in the cockpit is just as dangerous as a drunken driver.

That’s one of the conclusions scientists have reached after years of study on sleep — and what happens when people don’t get enough of it.

Sleep deprivation is worse than DUI
Fatal Accident Caused by Sleep Deprivation

The article is great read and shows how our law and policy makers are dropping the ball on an issue that effects the lives and safety of all of us.  I see fatigued driving as a bigger problem than DUI because of the general lack of awareness of it.  As the article points out, people are more likely to try to fight through it and keep driving which is dangerous.  Honestly, how many of us haven’t driven when we were really tired?  Some people do so on a regular basis.  The investigation points out:

NTSB does not track fatigue-related highway accidents on a regular basis. But in 1993, the board commissioned a study expecting to learn about the effects of drugs and alcohol on trucking accidents. Investigators studied all heavy-trucking accidents that year and made an unexpected discovery: Fatigue turned out to be the bigger problem.

NTSBCrash investigators said driver fatigue played a key role in a bus accident in Utah in 2008 that killed nine people returning from a ski trip.

The study found 3,311 heavy truck accidents killed 3,783 people that year, and between 30 percent and 40 percent of those accidents were fatigue-related.

The study shows that 30-40% of heavy truck accidents were fatigue related.  That is a huge number that is going unnoticed and unaccounted for.  The article goes on to point out that the NTSB has made 34 recommendations about fatigue on our roadways and has fought for decades to get them implemented.  Sadly, only 17 of these recommendation have been followed.

The question remains, why is there so much focus on DUI and relatively no focus on fatigued driving?  Like I have said before, there are powerful lobbies working for their own interests who are steering our laws, policies and perception.  Politicians should be focused on whole-heartedly and sincerely saving lives and making our roadways safer rather than doing what makes certain power brokers happy.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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