Car Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving
If asked to name some dangerous driving practices, people may mention speeding, texting while driving, or drunk driving. What might not come up is drowsy driving. Although it is not widely recognized by drivers as a dangerous habit, drowsy driving impairs functions that are essential to driving, and increases the risk of a car accident.
Individuals in the Longview, TX area who have been injured in an accident caused by drowsy driving can work with car accident lawyers Randy Akin and Greg Burton to hold liable parties accountable for resulting losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Many people go about their day feeling tired or worn down. Because this feeling of fatigue is so common, some do not realize the effect it can have on their cognitive and physical functions. Being drowsy can actually affect the body in ways very similar to alcohol. The more fatigued a person is, the greater side effects they are likely to experience.
The Sleep Foundation reports that being awake for 18 hours straight produces effects that are equivalent to having a blood alcohol content of .05 (a BAC of .08 is the legal limit in most states). Going 24 hours without sleep is said to produce effects equivalent to a BAC of .10. Like drunk drivers, drowsy drivers are likely to have a slower reaction time and impaired decision-making skills. Drowsy drivers can also fall asleep at the wheel, which leaves them unable to control their vehicle or make the maneuvers necessary to avoid a collision.
Although it is difficult to track how many accidents are caused by drowsy driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates 91,000 of the police-reported crashes in 2017 involved drowsy driving. They further believe that these crashes contributed to 50,000 personal injuries and nearly 800 deaths for the year.
When Is Drowsy Driving Most Likely?
Drowsy driving can occur at any time, as people drive to work after a restless night of sleep, when they are driving home from a night out with friends, or on a long and monotonous road trip. However, the NHTSA reports that drowsy driving most often happens between the hours of midnight and 6:00 AM, or in the late afternoon - both times when the body experiences dips in its circadian rhythm.
Drowsy Driving and Accident Liability
If Longview drivers suspect that drowsy driving has contributed to a car accident, it is important that they report their suspicions to law enforcement, their insurance company, and a knowledgeable car accident lawyer.
Drowsy driving is viewed as a type of reckless driving, so drivers can (and should) be held liable if their fatigued condition contributes to an accident. When working on cases involving drowsy driving, our legal team will consult with witnesses, reporting police officers, and attending medical personnel to find evidence that drowsy driving was the cause of an accident.
Get in Touch
If you have been injured in a car accident involving drowsy driving, car accident lawyers Randy Akin and Greg Burton can help you collect financial compensation from liable parties. To find out more about your legal options, send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call (903) 297-8929.