Deadly Accidents Caused By Drowsy Driving
We are all aware of the grave consequences that come with driving under the influence. The extensive public awareness campaigns executed by numerous institutions as well as the countless lives impacted by DUI accidents have informed the populace of how dangerous such an act is. Catastrophic car accidents caused by drunk drivers commonly injure those involved to the point that they face lifelong disability and in many cases cause fatalities. What many people do not know is that alongside drunk driving there is another contender when it comes to causing similar accidents of comparable damage.
Drowsy driving is one of the lesser known dangers that cause many accidents every year. Sleepy, tired, fatigued driving as it may also be called is dangerous and at times is comparable to the danger of driving under the influence. Drivers should never drive while tired and should avoid fatigue on the road. Doing otherwise can result in impaired driving that can cause a severe accident. Drivers should also remain very wary of drivers on the road that may be driving while drowsy or fatigued as well.
Why is Drowsy Driving so Dangerous?
Driving while tired is much more than just yawning while behind the wheel as you drive into the late hours of the night. Drowsy driving results in effects very similar to those that are caused by drinking or intoxication.
Drowsy Driving Impairments
- Poor Judgement
- Decreased Perception
- Slowed Reflexes
- Risk of Falling Asleep at the Wheel
- Inability to Concentrate
With all these effects, a person behind the wheel can easily cause an accident. When someone drives a vehicle for several hours continuously they can run the risk of starting to get fatigued. This is especially true when someone starts to drive at night or they drive into the night.
Who is at Risk for Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving can theoretically be done by anyone but certain groups are more likely to suffer from driving fatigue.
Semi-Truck Drivers and Drowsy Driving
The most affected group when it comes to accidents caused by driving fatigue is truck drivers. Semi-truck drivers often have to spend all day behind the wheel of a commercial tractor-trailer and almost assuredly develop fatigue after a while. There are regulations and mandates that maintain that truck drivers can only drive a certain amount of hours in a row before having to take mandatory rest breaks. They must log the hours in which they do drive so that their driving time can be tracked and checked in the event that an infraction is suspected.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers experience a lot of pressure to make very tight deadlines on their truck routes. This leads to some truck drivers driving more than the recommended amount and putting themselves and others they share the road with at risk.
People making long-distance trips are also at risk for drowsy driving. Road trips may be fun but it is important to know when to stop driving and take a break. Many drowsy driving accidents have been caused by people driving home from a late night event or job shift. They may not have
Signs of Drowsy Driving
A little yawn while driving doesn’t exactly mean you’re at risk for causing a six car pileup but certain signs may indicate that you should consider pulling over because fatigue is setting in.
- Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven
- Missing your exit
- Drifting from your lane
- Hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road
- Frequent yawning or blinking
- Sluggish steering
- Driving slower or faster than usual
It is also important to be able to recognize other drivers that might be driving while fatigued and tired. They often display similar patterns as drivers that are intoxicated. Like the signs mentioned before they can drift in and out of lanes, drive particularly fast or slow
Steps to Take to Avoid Drowsy Driving
If you feel that you are becoming fatigued and that your driving abilities are beginning to suffer as a result, then don’t hesitate to pull over and take a break. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry after an accident. Some easy steps to take to avoid drowsy driving include:
- Avoiding medication that can make you sleepy
- Taking a nap and getting enough sleep before driving
- Drinking coffee or energy drink to wake yourself up
- Maintain a good sleep schedule that will not coincide with your driving
- Drive with another person that can take over when you’re tired or help keep you awake
Drowsy Driving and Car Accident Claims
When someone is involved in a car accident because of a drowsy driver then they may be able to seek compensation for their injuries with a car accident claim. Drowsy driving is a negligent act that can be proven with evidence and thorough investigation. Drowsy drivers can cause all kinds of serious injuries that can put people in the hospital and cause lifelong disability. The damages suffered because of a negligent act such as drowsy driving deserve to be compensated.
Struck by a Drowsy Driver? Consult with The Eberst Law Firm
Lastly, make sure you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after being involved in an auto accident with a drowsy driver. Cases involving a fatigued driver have many intricacies that regular auto cases do not have, and it takes an experienced, dedicated attorney to handle these types of claims. The Eberst Law Firm has handled many cases involving drowsy drivers and our attorneys are prepared to fight for you to ensure that justice is sought and that the drunk driver has to pay legal ramifications for his or her wrongdoing.
Contact The Eberst Law Firm today for a free consultation by calling 772-225-4900 or by emailing us. We look forward to applying our experience and expertise toward helping your family recover from injuries caused by a negligent Florida drowsy driver.
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Gainesville, Florida Office