Fatigued Driving: Responsible for Many Car Accidents Every Year
The statistics are in, and we are alarmed by what they’ve found. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, about 168 million people have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy. Then, it was determined that 103 million people have actually fallen asleep at the wheel. Every year, there are about 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. The unfortunate fact is that there is no test to determine how sleepy someone is when they enter the roadways. All we know is that fatigued driving causes a variety of auto accidents every year, some deadly and others causing serious injury.
The risks of drowsy driving are terrifying. At any given time, somebody could fall asleep for a short moment and run into the back of your vehicle while you are driving. In other cases, a driver could doze off and cross over into the other lane, hitting someone head-on. It is an especially dangerous event because it makes drivers less able to watch the road, gives them slow reaction times if they have to brake or steer, and affects a driver’s ability to make good decisions. There are many people who are more likely to fall asleep while driving, from those who do not get enough sleep in a night, to commercial drivers who spend long times on the roadways, shift workers, drivers with untreated sleep disorders, and drivers who use medications that make them sleepy.
It might not be easy to prove that somebody was asleep at the wheel when your accident occurred. Some state statutes make it even harder and want you to show that a sleeping driver was awake for 24 hours before the accident took place, which could be even more difficult to prove. Some of the best proof you can have is speaking to witnesses who were around the defendant before they got into the accident. Other evidence that could back up your claim includes cell phone records that show geographic data of a driver covering long distances or finding out that the driver was currently on a specific type of medication that could cause severe drowsiness.
Most crashes that happen due to drowsy driving share a lot of the same characteristics. For instance, these accidents are most likely to happen late at night or early in the morning, such as when somebody has worked long hours and is just getting off of work. They are also likely to be very horrendous accidents, with severe injuries or even a wrongful death. The crash will usually occur at a high speed and drivers tend to be alone. Though not all cases end this way, a wide variety of them do.
If you have been injured due to a drowsy driver and believe they are at fault for your injuries, give us a call as soon as possible to get started on your case. At Edelstein Martin & Nelson, we can get you the compensation you deserve after you have suffered injuries at the hands of another. Call us today for a free consultation at 800-300-0909.