Identification of Drowsy-Driving Crashes

Drowsy-driver crashes usually have the following in common:

  • The crash occurs during the late night, early morning or mid-afternoon.
  • Single driver or a driver with sleeping passenger(s).
  • The crash is likely to be serious.
  • The driver does not attempt to avoid the crash.
  • Good weather and clear visibility.
  • No indication of speeding.
  • No indication of driver driving too close
  • No indication of alcohol.
  • Vehicle either ran off the road, across the centreline or into the back of another vehicle.
  • No signs of brakes being applied before-hand (eg; no skid marks).
  • No mechanical defects in the car or burst tyre.
  • Several seconds before the crash the driver could have seen the point of run off or vehicle hit.
  • The driver may or may not have admitted having fallen asleep.

Important note: In New Zealand, the law states that an autopsy must be performed following a crash death. This can effectively prove or eliminate many of the other possible causes of crashes.