How Night Driving Contributes to Drowsiness
Nearly two-thirds of all fatal car accidents involving young adults occur between 6 pm and 6 am. At night, the possibility of drowsy driving is higher, especially for young motorists due to a combination of the reduced visibility caused by darkness, slower response time because of fatigue, and limited experience in driving under such conditions.
According to a study by the AAA Foundation, a driver is more vulnerable to an accident due to sleep deprivation. If a person sleeps for under four hours at night, they are 12 times more likely to be involved in a crash.
Research indicates that teenagers should sleep for between eight to ten hours every night. But most teenagers do not get sufficient sleep. One study suggests that only 15 percent of teens reported sleeping eight hours on school nights.
The Perils of Drowsy Driving
A vehicle driver must be alert and responsive. Upon being sleep deprived, the body’s reflexes tend to slow down significantly. Consequently, a driver might not be able to swerve or brake on time is an emergency.
Most people understand that drunk driving is very hazardous. However, not many people know that drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
In studies, it has been shown that the effects of sleep deprivation are quite similar to the effects of alcohol consumption. Some key facts are:
- Operating an automobile after being continuously sleep deprived for 18 hours is akin to driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent.
- Operating a vehicle after being continuously sleep deprived for 24 hours is comparable to driving an automobile with a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent.
In fact, research studies also prove that when a person is sleep-deprived, their ability to think, concentrate, and make decisions is significantly impaired. Due to this, they might be unable to undertake challenging maneuvers such as reversing around a corner, making a sharp turn, turning left at a crossing, or parallel parking.
If a drowsy driver has injured you or a loved one, you can legally claim damages from them.
Key Facts on Drowsy Driving
Research indicates that drowsy driving crashes are most likely to take place between 12 am and 6 am. In most cases, the individual who caused the crash happens to be a single driver with no passengers in the vehicle. Such accidents usually occur on freeways and rural roads, where people tend to speed up.
Studies indicate that the below-mentioned individuals are most prone to be involved in drowsy driving crashes:
- People with conditions such as chronic insomnia or sleep apnea
- People who routinely work the graveyard shifts
- Commercial truck drivers, who drive for over 11 hours without taking any breaks
- People on meds that make them sleepy or drowsy
Suggestions to Avoid Drowsy Driving
- Ensure that you get a minimum of seven hours of good sleep each night.
- Avoid driving if you feel tired, due to sleep deprivation or another reason.
- Bring a co-driver along for long rides to allow you to take turns behind the wheel.
- As far as possible, avoid driving at night.
- Do not drive at any cost if you have a mental or physical condition that necessitates that you take drugs that make you sleepy.
- There are numerous rest stops on state highways for people who are constantly on the road. If you feel drowsy while driving, pull into a rest stop, and sleep for a while.
Legal Recourse After Being Hit by a Drowsy Driver
If you sustain an injury in a drowsy driver crash, call 911 immediately and inform them of the wreck. You will need to file a report with the authorities and seek prompt medical assistance.
Even if you have sustained severe internal injuries, you may not experience any discomfort or pain right away due to the sudden adrenaline rush. Therefore, it is crucial to undergo a complete medical assessment in such cases, even if you feel completely normal.
Call a Qualified Drowsy Driving Injury Lawyer Today
The next step after consulting a medical professional is to contact a skilled drowsy driving lawyer. You are only entitled to receive damages, through trial or settlement, if you can establish that the crash occurred directly as a result of the driver’s fatigue and drowsiness and through no fault of yours.
Thus, it is vital to work with an experienced attorney who has the skill and experience to build a robust case against the motorist who caused the crash.
The skilled and knowledgeable auto accident attorneys at the law offices of Smith & McGhee will work hard to make sure that you get the fair compensation that you deserve for your injuries and losses due to someone else’s fault. To schedule an initial consultation with an attorney, call (334) 702-1744.