Study Indicates that Drowsy Driving Can Be Just as Dangerous as Drunk Driving
Millions of Americans are sleep deprived on a regular basis, as non-traditional work hours and busy schedules often interfere with being able to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. This fact may be making our roads more dangerous, according to the results of a recently released study. The research, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, indicates that drivers who sleep for less than 7 hours in the previous 24 have a significantly elevated crash risk. In fact, AAA states that “the estimated rate ratio for crash involvement associated with driving after only 4-5 hours of sleep compared with 7 hours or more is similar to the U.S. government’s estimates of the risk associated with driving with a blood alcohol concentration equal to or slightly above the legal limit for alcohol in the U.S.”
Victims of Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving are Often Entitled to Compensation
Drowsy drivers have slower reaction time, poor attention, and decreased accuracy in responses to developing situations, all of which have the potential to create dangerous situations. Some specific examples of ways in which a drowsy driver may cause an accident include the following:
- Taking a dangerous left turn into oncoming traffic
- Following too closely
- Missing stop signs or stop lights
- Braking too late when approaching a stop
- Failing to stay in a lane
When a drowsy driver causes an accident, the people who are affected can often file a claim to recover compensation for the losses they sustain. Examples of the losses that are often recoverable in an accident caused by a drowsy driver include medical expenses, lost income, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and property damage, as well as others.
Do Victims Need to Prove that the Other Driver was Drowsy?
Proving that a person is sleep-deprived can be difficult, as there is no test (such as a breathalyzer for alcohol) that can establish that a person was too tired to drive. Fortunately, it is usually unnecessary to establish that the other driver’s error was due to sleep deprivation, as the error itself is sufficient to establish liability. For example, if a drowsy driver rear-ends you at a stop light, the mere fact that he or she struck you from behind should be enough to show that he or she was negligent. As a result, there is typically no need to investigate a person’s sleeping habits after an accident.
If you have been injured by a driver that seemed to be drowsy or sleep deprived, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. To schedule a free case evaluation with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer, call Boling Rice LLC today at 770-744-0890 or contact us online.