If you work a normal 40 hour, 9 to 5, Monday through Friday job then you are very lucky under today’s working standard. Reports show that workers and managers are logging more hours each day. These longer hours attribute to America’s ranking as the country with the second longest work week.1 This means that workers are facing increased hours at the office on top of their personal schedules. As a result, tired drivers are getting behind the wheel and placing themselves and other drivers at risk for being in a car accident.
Driving While Drunk or Drowsy Present Similar Road Risks
Driving drowsy or overly fatigued can cause a number of side effects which creates road risks. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleepiness and getting behind a wheel is a very dangerous combination. In fact, the risks behind driving drowsy can be equal to that of driving drunk. The side-effects of drowsy driving include slowed reaction time, decreased awareness, impaired judgment, problems with processing information and memory, and increased risk of crashing.2
Determining Liability in a Drowsy Driving Car Accident
The difficulty behind determining liability in a drowsy driving car accident begins at the initial stage of proving that the accident was the direct result of a driver’s sleepiness. Investigators at the car accident scene look for the absence of skid marks or evasive maneuvers since there is no breath or blood test to objectively screen for sleepiness.3 However, despite the difficulty in determining sleepiness or tiredness as the direct cause of an auto accident the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 2.5 % of fatal crashes and 2 % of injury crashes involve drowsy driving.4
Common Causes and Ways to Prevent Drowsy Driving Car Accidents
Liability is commonly found in drowsy driving car accident cases involving commercial drivers, shift workers, drivers with untreated sleep disorders, drivers using sedation medications, or drivers without adequate sleep.5 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a study of 150,000 adult drivers reported that 4.2% had fallen asleep while driving in the last month alone. There are steps designed to prevent drowsy driving accidents such as getting enough sleep, seeking medical treatment for possible sleeping disorders, and being aware of the warning signs of drowsy driving such as yawning, frequent blinking, or drifting from your lane.6
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Due to the seriousness of driving drowsy and the difficulty in determining drowsiness as the cause of a car accident, it is essential to seek the advice of an attorney. An experienced attorney can help injured victims recover compensation from auto accidents caused by driver fatigue. If you have been in an auto accident possibly linked to drowsy driving an auto accident attorney should review the facts and circumstances of your accident to determine if a driver was negligent or reckless for getting behind the wheel while drowsy. Contact an experienced trial attorney for a free consultation at 314-735-8100.