It’s not easy to know when a tired driver is responsible for a crash, but the consequences of a severe car accident are unmistakable. According to the National Sleep Foundation, driver fatigue causes the following each year:
- 100,000 police-reported crashes
- 71,000 injuries
- 1,550 deaths
- Billions of dollars in damages
These statistics may be just a fraction of the real problem since there is no easy test to determine if a driver’s fatigue caused a crash.
Why Drivers Are Tired
Approximately 30% of drivers in the United States admit to falling asleep at the wheel, and more than half of U.S. drivers say they have driven while tired.
Some common reasons for driving while fatigued include:
- A bad night’s sleep. Many factors ranging from insomnia to stress to young children in the home can cause a driver to have a poor night’s sleep and be tired.
- Medications. Some medications have drowsiness as a side effect and can cause a driver’s fatigue.
- Alcohol. It’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol, but after sobering up, prior alcohol consumption may make you tired when you get behind the wheel.
- Sleep disorders. People who suffer from untreated sleep apnea or narcolepsy may be tired when they drive.
- Work-related issues. Shift workers, people who work long hours and then drive home, and people who drive long distances for work may suffer from fatigue.
- Travel. Whether the driver is jet-lagged or exhausted from driving a long distance, the driver may experience drowsiness and cause a dangerous crash.
Risks of Drowsy Driving
Tired drivers present many of the same risks as drunk or distracted drivers. Drowsy drivers may have difficulty concentrating and slower reaction times. These issues may cause a drowsy driver to:
- Run through a red light or stop sign
- Drive the wrong way on a one-way street
- Swerve into another lane
- Drive too closely to the car in front of them
- Fail to use turn signals
- Drive too slowly
- Use brakes inconsistently
- Take too long to react to hazards in the road
These crashes can cause catastrophic injuries, including:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back or neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
How to Pursue a Drowsy Driving Accident Recovery
If you’re hurt in a Florida crash caused by a fatigued driver, and you want to file a personal injury claim, you must prove:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care
- The other driver breached the duty of care by failing to act like a reasonable driver would in a similar situation
- The other driver’s actions or inactions caused your accident injuries
- You have a legal right to damages
When you hire a car accident lawyer, he will consider all of the possible reasons for your accident and, if drowsy driving is a potential cause of your crash, gather evidence which may include:
- The other driver’s medical records
- The other driver’s work records
- Answers to specific questions from the other driver provided under oath through written interrogatories or depositions
- Witness testimony
- Your medical records
Florida Car Accident Compensation
Some of the damages that you may recover in a drowsy driving car crash case include:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Out-of-pocket damages
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
If you’ve been hurt in a Florida drowsy driving car accident, attorney Coy H. Browning is here to help you. As a former Florida State Trooper, he knows how to investigate the cause of your crash and, as an experienced Florida accident attorney, knows how to fight for your fair recovery.
Call us, or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your legal rights and possible compensation.