When drivers are overly tired, they can lose focus, make mistakes, or even fall asleep at the wheel. If a drowsy driver caused you injuries, you should discuss your legal options with a Matthews car accident attorney.
The dangers of driving while exhausted are very clear. Motorists who operate any vehicle under these conditions place themselves and other drivers at risk. For this reason, it’s important to let another person drive if you’re tired, catch a taxi, or call an Uber.
Unfortunately, many people are too trusting of their driving abilities and won’t consider these options. If you suffer injuries due to a drowsy driver, our Matthews car accident attorneys can help.
Drowsy drivers are slow at processing information and making decisions, which results in them driving more erratically than usual and possibly causing car accidents. This includes speeding up or slowing down without warning, drifting across lanes of traffic with little regard for speed limits, changing their own speeds suddenly even if they have cruise control, etc.
These actions prove to be very dangerous when dealing with other vehicles around them, such as motorcycles and pedestrians. In fact, federal agencies report that a driver who has been awake for 18 hours straight commits an average of 112 safety errors per hour while driving.
Many people assume that a driver would notice when they’re about to fall asleep. However, in most cases, this is not the case. In fact, fatigue-related sleep onset can happen very quickly without warning, and it’s impossible for someone who falls asleep at the wheel to know until it happens because of how sudden these episodes are.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that drivers who have been awake for 13 hours make up 30% of all fatal car crashes each year; as compared with just 12% among those who have slept less than four hours or more than 18 hours, and 25% of accidents overall (including nonfatal accidents).
It may be tempting to push through when you’re feeling tired in order to get home or finish your work, but it’s not worth the risk. Tired drivers who have fallen asleep at the wheel often wake up after their vehicle has crashed and don’t know how they got there.
This means that even if a person is lucky enough to survive this event, he or she will still suffer from – or cause to others – serious injuries, such as broken bones and brain trauma. The dangers are very clear, and people should never drive while exhausted.
In addition to the physical dangers that exhausted drivers present, they can also be held legally responsible for their actions. If a person causes harm to another motorist or pedestrian while driving under these conditions and is deemed negligent, he or she should compensate any accident victims for the full range of their injuries and losses.
Have you been injured in a car accident caused by a tired driver? If so, Panchenko Law Firm would love to stand up for your rights. Contact us today to receive a free case evaluation.