The Dangers Of Drowsy Driving
The driver of a Greyhound bus that was involved in a deadly crash on January 19, 2016, is reported to have told investigators that just before the accident, he was driving while fatigued. Passengers are also reported to have said the driver was falling asleep at the wheel before the accident. In the aftermath of this serious accident, the effects and dangers of driving while tired cannot be understated. The federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that in 2013, drowsy drivers were responsible for 2,000 crashes, 800 deaths, and 44,000 injuries. In Florida, accidents caused in 2011 by drowsy drivers were estimated to be responsible for 2,826 crashes, 21 deaths, and 2,393 injuries.
While drowsy driving may be caused by fatigue or sleepiness, it can also happen when a driver drives while experiencing the side effects of medication or alcohol, or a combination of the two. Medical conditions that cause people to fall asleep easily or sporadically without warning may also be a cause of drowsy driving. A driver who is driving while drowsy cannot anticipate the moment at which he or she will fall asleep. Even if the driver doesn’t fall asleep, the sleepiness or fatigue can cause the driver to have slow reaction to road conditions or to make unsafe decisions while driving. This kind of inattention can lead to a driver causing accidents.
A driver who is prescribed medication that may cause drowsiness is often made aware of this fact. Therefore, if the driver proceeds to drive while being aware of the danger caused to other drivers by his condition, he may be found to be negligent if he causes injuries or property damage in an accident. Similarly, commercial drivers who work long shifts may also be found liable for accidents caused because they have not had enough sleep. If the companies that these commercial drivers work for failed to take appropriate steps to ensure that their drivers were not driving drowsy, they may be found liable as well.
Drivers should therefore take appropriate precautions to ensure they are not driving while tired. While a driver may get a warning once in awhile if he dozes off and strays off the road and onto the rumble strip on the side of the road, there may be no warning at all if the driver strays in the opposite direction. Drivers can check for other warning signs in their own behavior, such as constant yawning, increased aggressiveness, or lack of concentration. In addition to taking breaks when taking long trips, drivers who are under medication that may cause drowsiness should avoid taking the medicine before driving or discuss a non-drowsy alternative with their doctor.
Contact An Experienced Fort Lauderdale Automobile Accident Attorney
If you are involved in a car accident and sustain serious injuries as a result of another driver’s actions, you need an experienced automobile accident attorney handling your case to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale automobile accident attorneys from Boone & Davis for a consultation today.