Driving while fatigued can have serious consequences. Scientifically speaking, fatigue has similar effects to driving while intoxicated. A person driving after being awake for 20 hours is similar in capacity to someone driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08%, according to the National Safety Council. It doesn’t take 20 hours for the effects of fatigue to set in, though. If you’ve had less sleep than usual and are more tired than you normally are, you can experience lower response times and temporary lapses in judgment. These can be detrimental to your ability to safely operate a vehicle when one split second of inattention can have tragic consequences.
These days, it seems like most people are extremely busy. Packing your schedule full can cause you to push yourself beyond your limits, but too little rest can lead to accidents. Here are some statistics that might surprise you:
- Nearly 100,000 drowsy driving accidents are reported to the police, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- AAA reports that the number of driving-related crashes is actually closer to 328,000 each year.
- Without accounting for damage to property, drowsy driving causes $109 billion worth of damages each year.
- 4 percent of drivers surveyed admitted to falling asleep at least once in the past 30 days.
How do you know if you’re too tired to drive? If you’re drifting out of your lane, or feel your head bobbing, those are good indications. You might find yourself missing road signs, nodding off, or having difficulty keeping your eyes open. Get off the road, because driving while fatigued is considered negligence under the law.
If you’re in an accident with someone who made an improper lane change, veered off the road, made an improper turn, or failed to maintain a safe lookout, you may have encountered a drowsy driver. The insurance company for a drowsy driver will be responsible for losses and injuries sustained in an accident, and if the person doesn’t have valid or adequate insurance, you can file an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim. You’ll have to prove, however, that the other driver’s fatigue caused the accident. For this, you’ll need the help of an experienced attorney. Contact an attorney right away so that evidence can be preserved and your case can be properly handled. It’s your right to speak with your attorney before you talk to an insurance company.
Since 1990, the Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers has been committed to providing important legal guidance. We pay close attention to each case, giving one-on-one treatment to each of our clients because every case is unique. Our lawyers are among the best in Virginia, and we’ll put our more than 100 years of collective experience to work for you. We work hard to achieve the best possible results for every client we represent, so contact us for a free case analysis or call (703) 636-2182 today.