It is generally accepted that it is dangerous to drive while drunk or while distracted by text messages and other cell phone distractions. However, it is easy for drivers to ignore or be unaware of another common driving danger, fatigued driving. When drivers drive tired, they put themselves and others in danger because their alertness is affected.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2005 and 2009, drowsy drivers were responsible for 83, 000 crashes and tens of thousands of crash related injuries and property damage. Accidents caused by drowsy drivers were also responsible for 846 fatalities. A drowsy driver is likely to fall asleep at the wheel without warning, and these statistics show how easy it is for this to result in an accident.
Even if the drowsy driver does not actually fall asleep at the wheel, driving in a fatigued state can affect the driver’s ability to react properly to road conditions and adjust accordingly. It could also impair the driver’s ability to pay attention while driving, and drive on “auto-pilot,” making it less likely that the driver will react well to a sudden emergency.
Drivers who notice that they are: yawning a lot while driving; having trouble keeping their eyes open while driving; swerving off the road; or, are having trouble remembering the last miles driven should heed these warning signs of fatigued driving. When a driver notices any of these signs, or otherwise feels that he is too tired to drive, the best cause of action is to pull over and get some rest. Getting coffee or an energy drink is a temporary fix that may even serve to give the driver a false sense of security. The best way to avoid the danger of drowsy driving is to get some rest.
In addition, drivers should try and get more rest on a regular basis, especially if they are driving as part of their jobs. While this may not be possible every single night, drivers should avoid multiple long days with little sleep, as this could lead to a chronic state of fatigue. If drivers have a sleeping disorder, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible to deal with the problem. A driver who is taking medication that causes the driver to be drowsy can either ask his doctor to change his medication, or avoid driving taking the medication.
People who are employed as commercial truck drivers are supposed to get a certain number of hours of rest before driving. In addition to the financial cost of an accident caused by a driver who violates these safety regulations on rest for drivers, violation of these regulations could lead to fines and other penalties for the employer.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in an accident caused by a drowsy or otherwise negligent driver, you may be able to seek compensation from the other driver. To find out more about how you can seek compensation from drivers who caused your injuries, contact an experienced car accident injury lawyer at Vocelle & Berg, LLP, in Vero Beach, Florida for a free consultation.