Too often drivers push themselves and stay on the road even when they are too sleepy to drive safely. These fatigued or drowsy drivers may be responsible for as many as 15 to 33 percent of all fatal car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, drowsy driving may be the cause. You should contact an experienced lawyer to begin an investigation into your crash and to start taking steps towards seeking compensation for any losses you have suffered.
Contact the Disparti Law Group, P.A. We help victims throughout Holiday, the Tampa-St. Petersburg region and across Florida. We can provide a free initial consultation. Call our toll-free number or complete our online contact form.
Characteristics of Drowsy Driving Accidents
Fatalities and injuries are more likely to occur in motor vehicle crashes that involve drowsy driving than in non-drowsy driving crashes, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) says. This is because drowsy driving accidents usually involve higher speeds and delayed braking or no braking at all.
It is the evidence of a lack of braking along with other factors that helps law enforcement officials determine the probability that a driver in a wreck fell asleep behind the wheel. A NHTSA study of drowsy driving and automobile crashes says that in fatigued or fall-asleep driver crashes, the driver is likely to be alone, the car is likely to leave the road or its lane, and the driver usually does nothing to avoid the crash.
Many drowsy driving accidents are single-car crashes, but sleepiness is also likely to be a factor in rear-end and head-on crashes, the NHTSA reports.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said in 2010 that 41 percent of drivers in a national survey admitted to having “fallen asleep or nodded off” while driving at some point in their lives, including 11 percent who had done so within the previous year and 3.9 percent in the prior month. More than one in four drivers admitted to having driven when they were “so sleepy that [they] had a hard time keeping [their] eyes open” within the previous month.
The CDC and Florida Department of Transportation say that drowsy drivers are likely to be:
- Commercial drivers, such as long-haul truckers.
- Shift workers (working the night shift or long shifts).
- Drivers with untreated sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
- Drivers who use sedating medications.
- Drivers who do not get adequate sleep.
- Young drivers between the ages of 16 and 29, especially males.
- Jet-lagged business travelers.
Drowsiness reduces optimum reaction times, the NHTSA says. Even moderately sleepy people can have a performance-impairing increase in reaction time that will hinder stopping in time to avoid a collision. Sleepiness also makes it harder for drivers to remain attentive to the tasks of driving and slower to process new information, such as the brake lights of the car ahead.
Contact a Florida Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer
Getting behind the wheel when you are drowsy or continuing to drive when you are too sleepy to drive safely is an act of careless and reckless driving. When drowsy driving results in injuries to others, drowsy drivers should be held accountable for the harm they have caused.
If you have been seriously injured in a car or truck accident attributed to a fatigued or drowsy driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering and other losses.
The attorneys of the Disparti Law Group, P.A., are dedicated to making sure that drowsy drivers who cause accidents are held accountable. We strive to obtain the maximum compensation that Florida law allows for our clients.
To set up a free initial consultation with one of our drowsy driving accident lawyers, contact us today at our toll-free number or through our online contact form.
- Drowsy Driving: Asleep at the Wheel, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Drowsy Driving — 19 States and the District of Columbia, 2009–2010, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Asleep at the Wheel: The Prevalence and Impact of Drowsy Driving, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
- Drowsy Driving Awareness, Drowsy Driving Florida