Fatigued driving is one of the major causes of deaths on the road. As per data provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), one in 25 drivers fall asleep at least once a month while operating a vehicle. Moreover, the CDC has also reported that drowsiness while behind the wheel results in about 72,000 crashes each year causing 44,000 injuries and approximately 6,000 fatalities.
Signs of Driving While Fatigued
Most drowsy driving accidents occur during the early morning and late evening hours. However, driver fatigue can occur at any time and lead to serious consequences. Drowsiness can also lead to distracted or drunk driving accidents. Hence, it is crucial that drowsy drivers understand the dangers that they could be putting themselves and others in. Some signs that indicate driver fatigue are:
- Frequent yawning or rubbing of eyes
- Nodding off
- Lane drifting
- Missing exits
- Loss of concentration
- Slow response to hazards on the road
- Restless feeling
When drivers fall asleep even for a microsecond it can be very dangerous as it can cause the vehicle to veer into the inbound traffic or off the road.
Who Is at Risk for Drowsy Driving Accidents?
Some of the major reasons that cause driver fatigue include driving for long uninterrupted time periods, lack of sleep, consumption of alcohol or drugs, and sleep-inducing medication. Certain groups of people who are most likely to be driving while being fatigued include:
- Employees working long shifts or night shifts
- Commercial truck drivers
- Travelers suffering from jetlag
- Individuals with sleeping disorders
- People who have been awake for more than 18 hours or slept less than 8 hours at night
- Young drivers who feel drowsy when driving at night
If you know someone who is at risk of drowsy driving or if someone is showing signs of driving under fatigue, talk to them, get off the road and find a spot for them to rest. There is no point putting your life and that of others in danger owing to driver fatigue. If you see anyone on the road who you believe is showing signs of fatigue, lane drifting, or nodding off, take action and alert the road authorities immediately as it could save someone’s life.
How Can A Car Accident Lawyer Help You?
Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. If you or your loved one have been involved in a road accident that was caused by a fatigued or drowsy driver, you can seek help from a good car accident lawyer who can help you reduce medical and damage costs with your insurance company and seek compensation you rightfully deserve. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand the entire claims procedure and protect your legal rights. The insurance companies may undermine or deny your claim request following your car accident. However, a seasoned attorney will work relentlessly and negotiate settlements on your behalf and help you get back on the road to recovery.