According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowsy driving is a serious problem in the United States. In 2013, it was estimated that drowsy driving was a factor in 72,000 crashes that resulted in 800 deaths and 44,000 injuries. Approximately 1 in 25 adult drivers have admitted to falling asleep while driving in the past 30 days. Why do people drive when they are tired or drowsy?
Causes of Drowsy Driving
There are many reasons why a person drives when they are drowsy or tired. Reasons for drowsy driving accidents include:
- Medications that cause drowsiness
- Working at night or working long hours and extra shifts
- Teen drivers who don’t get enough sleep due to school, social activities, and part-time jobs
- Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders
- Truck drivers who exceed driving hour limits
- Driving for more than four hours without a break
- Using drugs or alcohol
- Driving in traffic or hot weather
- Drivers on vacation or business who have time lag due to different time zones
Whatever the cause, drowsy driving accidents can cause traumatic injuries. Accident victims in a drowsy driving accident can suffer broken bones, lacerations, brain injuries, back injuries, and spinal cord damage. In addition, the financial losses from a drowsy driving accident can be substantial.
Medical bills and lost wages can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. In addition to the financial damages, the emotional and physical suffering can be great. A Louisville drowsy driving attorney can help you recover compensation for your damages, losses, and injuries caused by a drowsy driver.
Symptoms of Drowsy or Fatigued Driving
Don’t be fooled by myths about drowsy driving. You cannot “wake yourself up” enough to drive by rolling the window down, drinking coffee, turning up the radio, or using the air conditioner. If you are tired or drowsy, your best bet is to pull over to a safe location to rest or allow another driver to take over for you.
Signs that you may be too drowsy to drive include:
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating on driving
- Not remembering the past few minutes
- Blurred vision and frequent blinking
- Troubling keeping your head up
- Numbness in your hands or feet
- Drifting into the other lane
- Excessive acceleration or driving too slowly
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Excessive or irregular braking
- Difficulty turning or maneuvering the vehicle
Any signs of drowsiness or fatigue should be taken very seriously. Don’t put yourself and others at risk by continuing to drive when you are drowsy or tired.
Call a Louisville Drowsy Driving Attorney
Proving liability is crucial to recovering compensation in a drowsy driving accident claim. Therefore, you need an experienced attorney on your side who understands how to investigate a drowsy driving accident for evidence to prove the other driver caused the collision. If you cannot prove fault, you cannot recover compensation. Consequently, don’t let the insurance adjuster for the other driver convince you that you don’t need an attorney.