The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is much more of a threat than most people realize. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one out of every 25 adults have fallen asleep while driving in the past month. These statistics are particularly alarming because driving while fatigued significantly increases a person’s risk of causing an accident.
The injuries sustained in these types of collisions tend to be severe, as they often occur at high speeds, so if you were recently injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, it is important to contact an experienced Florida auto accident lawyer who can help determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your losses.
Florida’s Most Fatigued Drivers
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving is responsible for more than 300,000 accidents a year, approximately 70,000 of which result in injury. Unfortunately, many of those accidents occur in Florida and are especially common amongst certain populations, including motorists who:
- Work at night;
- Work long hours;
- Suffer from a sleep disorder, such as Sleep Apnea Syndrome or Narcolepsy;
- Take medications that make them drowsy; or
- Ingest alcohol or drugs before driving.
These factors affect certain individuals more than others, including those with undiagnosed sleep disorders, who are seven times more likely to fall asleep at the wheel than other drivers, as well as shift workers and long-haul drivers who are often required to drive at night or spend many hours on the road.
Preventing Drowsy Driving
Fortunately, drivers can avoid collisions caused by drowsy driving by keeping an eye out for signs of fatigue, such as:
- Drifting out of one’s lane, tailgating, or driving over rumble strips repeatedly;
- Missing exits or traffic signs;
- Failing to pay attention to speed;
- Having wandering or disconnected thoughts;
- Having difficulty focusing;
- Being unable to remember long stretches of road or periods of time; and
- Frequently blinking or yawning.
There are also certain steps that motorists can take before driving to ensure that they are not at fault for a drowsy driving-related crash, including:
- Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep the night before;
- Avoiding driving between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. when most drowsy driving accidents occur;
- Sharing driving duties with another passenger on long trips;
- Obtaining treatment for sleep conditions;
- Refraining from ingesting alcohol before driving; and
- Checking medications for fatigue-related side effects.
Unfortunately, even those who take great care to ensure that they are not the cause of a drowsy driving accident could end up being the victims of someone else’s carelessness. To learn more about your own legal options following this type of collision, please contact our legal team today.
Contact Our Office for Help with Your Case
If you were injured in a crash after someone else fell asleep at the wheel, please call 954-566-9919 to speak with one of the dedicated Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyers at Boone & Davis about your case. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today.