Cherry Hill sits in a near-perfect spot for holiday travelers. In about two hours, people can hit the road and be in New York City, Baltimore or Washington DC and in just a few minutes, be across the river and in Philadelphia. With Thanksgiving getting closer by the minute, it's a good time to remember to watch for three holiday road dangers: distracted, drunken and drowsy drivers.
While much of our attention on traffic safety is these days focused on distracted and impaired drivers, fatigued drivers can be just as dangerous. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that drowsy driving results in approximately 320,000 crashes each year on U.S. roads.
That figure includes about 6,400 fatal wrecks. While those numbers might appear to be shockingly high, AAA says that the actual figures might be even higher because the information collected by law enforcement at accident scenes is incomplete.
A study last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than a third of U.S. adults get less than the needed seven hours of sleep. Of course, sleep deprivation means that drivers' reaction times are slower and perceptions are impaired -- just as they with drivers who are high or drunk.
Here's another statistic to ponder: about 60 percent of drivers admit that they have driven while drowsy. And about 100 million drivers told researchers that they have fallen asleep at least once while they were behind the wheel.
People who get up to two hours less than required sleep nearly double the risk of causing a crash. Those who miss more than two hours more than quadruple the risk.
Statistics don't pay the medical bills or replace the lost wages of those who have been injured in crashes caused by distracted, drunken or drowsy drivers. But you can pursue full compensation for all damages with the help of an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.