If you find you are lacking sleep from day-to-day, you are not alone. Many people sacrifice sleep in order to keep up with the pace of everyday life.
Whether it’s your family obligations, work commutes, responsibilities, or appointments, you may find yourself losing sleep throughout the week to get everything done. Unfortunately, however, being exhausted can have serious consequences when you are behind the wheel.
Burned out or sleepy drivers, often called ‘drowsy drivers’, can pose a serious risk to themselves or others. In fact, many accidents every year that result in deaths or injuries are caused by people operating vehicles while sleep-deprived.
Of course, there are forms of technology to measure a driver’s impairment, such as breathalyzers for blood alcohol content. This is not the case for tiredness, however, even if the effect can be somewhat similar–and possibly just as dangerous.
If you were hurt by a drowsy driver, you may be anxious, confused, and unsure of what to do next. We can help you understand what your case could be worth. Get your free case review with a Fernandez & Hernandez attorney today by going online or calling 813.755.9500.
Why Is Driving Drowsy A Cause For Accidents?
Getting enough sleep before you get behind the wheel is crucial for driving safely. Lacking sleep can interfere with your brain’s performance, which plays a part in driving and other daily activities.
The act of driving often involves making several important decisions and doing more than one task at once. For instance, on any given trip you may have to think about how much to turn the wheel, where to look at the right time, when to alert other drivers, and how to react properly to external stimuli.
Sleepiness can affect those types of necessary driving skills, as well as your ability to stay focused and alert. Without those basic abilities, the risk of you getting injured in an accident can increase.
What Are Some Signs Of Drowsy Driving?
When a driver is affected by sleep, they may do things like:
- Speeding or driving too slow
- React more slowly, such as slamming on the brakes to avoid a rear-end accident
- Fail to follow traffic signals or stop signs
- Drive too closely to other vehicles (also called ‘tailgating’)
- Drift into other lanes or hit the ‘rumble strip’ on the side of the road
If you are hurt by a drowsy driver, proof of their tiredness may not be required, but could still support a case for negligence. That is, showing that the at-fault driver was driving negligently may be enough to build a case that they are legally responsible for your injuries. However, additional evidence that they were too tired to safely operate a vehicle could further prove that the harm they caused you was from a breach of their duty to use reasonable care while driving.
If you have questions about your case or compensation, you may want to speak with an attorney to discuss the details of your particular case. Call Personal Injury Attorney Martin Hernandez at 813.755.9500 or fill out the form online for a completely free case evaluation.
Who Is Most Affected By Drowsy Driving?
Nearly anyone can make the bad decision to drive without enough sleep. Pedestrians can be hurt badly or even killed if a driver who is falling asleep hits them without stopping.
Some professions have shifts at odd hours, causing workers to experience a change in their sleep cycle or go without resting. Under these circumstances, double shifts or early morning hour call-in times can make people like truck drivers, doctors, nurses, servers, and other employees vulnerable to chronic fatigue.
Truck drivers in particular should be careful to pull over and rest regularly, since they have the responsibility to drive long hours in huge tractor trailers. Truck accidents are known to cause catastrophic injuries, which can result if a drowsy truck driver is unable to perform their job safely behind the wheel.
Truck companies can also be found liable for accident injuries to others caused by negligence of drivers who were on the clock. For this reason, it is in the best interest of employers to make sure deadlines are reasonable and enforce safety protocols, including drowsiness prevention.
Finding The Right Drowsy Driving Injury Attorney
If you were hurt in an accident caused by someone who was overtired, contact a personal injury lawyer right away. They can help describe what legal options you have and handle your claim for your peace of mind.
Remember that the attorney you hire can have a big effect on your case outcome. You may want to consider getting a free consultation to discuss the accident, your injuries, and see what services they can provide.