Many people do not realize how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel when they are fighting to stay awake. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving is the cause of at least 109,000 injuries and 6,400 fatalities in motor vehicle wrecks each year. Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of many people’s lives and how normal lack of sleep has become, many drivers think nothing of driving when they are tired—until they cause a tragic accident.
How Does Drowsy Driving Affect a Person’s Driving Abilities?
Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving when drunk, and the risks increase when the lack of sleep increases. Being drowsy can affect a person’s ability to drive in the following ways:
- Makes him less able to be attentive to the road and nearby vehicles.
- Reduces his reaction time, which can prevent him from reacting quickly enough when he has to slow down, brake, or take quick actions to avoid an accident.
- Impairs his ability to make good decisions.
Drowsy drivers can veer into oncoming traffic—which is especially likely if the driver falls asleep—or drift into another lane of traffic without even knowing it. Some of these accidents only involve the drowsy driver’s vehicle. In this situation, injured passengers may be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance company.
Who Is at the Highest Risk of Causing a Drowsy Driving Accident?
While anyone can cause a drowsy driving crash, some people are at higher risk. The following are just a few examples:
- People who do not get sufficient sleep.
- People who are commercial drivers and drive vehicles such as big-rig trucks, tow trucks, and buses.
- People who are shift workers and work long hours, night shifts, or rotating hours.
- People who have untreated sleep disorders.
- People who take medications that make them drowsy.
If a drowsy driver caused your car accident, let our experienced legal team help you to obtain the compensation that you deserve. Call our office today or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights.