A recent report by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that on many highways across the United States, including those in North Carolina, an increasing number of car accidents have been cause by sleepy drivers. The NHTSA data was compiled from reports submitted by local police departments, but drivers impaired by drowsiness or sleepiness are difficult for police to detect after an accident.
Drowsiness or fatigue does not leave physical evidence, unlike impairment by alcohol or other drugs. Thus, if the accused driver denies falling asleep or being tired, not much can be done by concerned authorities. It also is difficult for police to ascertain fault for an accident if a driver fails to remember whether he or she fell asleep while driving or if a driver is unable to respond or dead.