A Recent Video Shows A Bus Accident Involving “Drowsy Driving” After The Bus Driver Fell Asleep At The Wheel
According to a shocking video released by Good Morning America, a bus driver was caught sleeping at the wheel in October 2014, bus crash which led to a collision with seven other vehicles over a half-mile stretch of road. After the bus driver fell asleep, the video shows him suddenly waking and trying to prevent the crash from occurring, but his attempts failed. No one on the bus was hurt, but an elderly couple in the first car the bus hit suffered life-threatening injuries.
According to an investigation, around 2 million people nod off at the wheel. This accounts for about 2 million extra crashes each year. A similar bus crash from 2011 involving a bus and multiple vehicles killed four and injured dozens. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, drowsy driving was a contributing factor in the 2011 bus crash. Because of the high number of fatalities and injuries in the 2011 case, the bus driver was sentenced to six years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
Alabama sees a number of crashes due to drowsy driving each year. In 2012, nearly 2,000 people were injured in crashes tied to drowsy driving. 20 fatalities occurred as a result of Alabama drowsy driving in 2012. Fatigued driving accounted for 2 percent of all semi truck crashes in 2012. Alabama residents can reduce their risk of drowsy driving-related accidents by ensuring they get at least 7 hours of sleep each night and by avoiding driving between 12AM and 6AM. [http://www.dot.state.al.us/mcrweb/frm/Crash_Facts.pdf, January 2013]
According to the police report, the bus driver has been charged with a misdemeanor traffic violation. The penalty for this misdemeanor could put him in jail for up to 93 days if convicted. “The crash scene was half a mile long. It is one of the largest crash scenes in West Bloomfield history,” said West Bloomfield Detective Lt. Curt Lawson. “We are fortunate no one was killed.”[ http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/video-shows-wild-ride-mich-bus-driver-asleep-wheel-article-1.2137913, March 2015]
The video shows the driver waking up to a disastrous nightmare. His attempts to stop the accident failed. The video shows the bus crashing into seven vehicles and a mailbox before the driver could gain control of the bus. The bus was severely damaged, as were many of the vehicles hit by the bus. [http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/video-bus-crash-highlights-dangers-drowsy-driving-29406494, March 2015]
The National Transportation Safety Board told Good Morning America that bus accidents from drowsy driving are rare, however; drowsy driving contributes to a high number of accidents involving other vehicle types. Drowsing Driving.com has found the following drowsy driving statistics:
- 37 percent of Americans report falling asleep behind the wheel at least once
- 60 percent of Americans have reported driving while drowsy in the past year
- An estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses are directly related to drowsy driving each year.
Statistics from Europe report that up to 30 percent of all driving crashes are related to drowsy driving
A study from Australia found that being awake for 24 hours resulting in driving impairment comparable to a blood alcohol level of .10, 2 points over the legal limit
Another study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that individuals who sleep 7 hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a crash as individuals who get more sleep. Individuals who sleep fewer than five hours a night increase their traffic accident risk by up to five times.
The peak time for drowsy-related accidents occurs between the house of 12AM and 6AM- a time when many bus drivers are on the road. [drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/, March 2015]
Ensuring bus drivers get enough sleep can prevent dangerous accidents like this one.