Driver fatigue is a serious problem, and drowsiness is the cause of numerous vehicle collisions. According to a study conducted by the American Automobile Association, drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. These accidents are particularly devastating, since drowsy drivers often make no effort to avoid a collision. While fatigued driving accidents can occur under virtually any circumstances, collisions typically happen when:
- A vehicle drifts out of its lane.
- The driver makes no evasive maneuvers to avoid a crash.
- The collision occurs on a high-speed road.
- The accident happens early in the morning or late at night.
Typical Fatigued Drivers
No driver is immune to the effects of sleep deprivation, and no amount of driving skill can compensate for lack of sleep. However, drivers at the greatest risk of drowsy driving vehicle collisions include:
- Drivers suffering from untreated sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or narcolepsy.
- Young males between the ages of 17 and 23.
- Employees working night shifts or irregular hours.
- Any driver who gets an average of fewer than six hours of sleep during a 24-hour period.
Drowsy Driving Causes
If a driver keeps drifting in and out of his lane, responds slowly to road hazards, or loses concentration, he is likely suffering from fatigue. Some of the factors that increase the risk of a vehicle collision include:
- Usage of sedating medications.
- Driving for extended periods of time without taking a break.
- Consumption of alcohol.
- Driving between the hours of midnight and six o’clock in the morning.
- Spending many hours on the road every day.
You Need an Attorney
All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicle responsibly and to avoid putting other motorists in danger. When they violate this duty, they can and should be held responsible for the damage they have caused. If you’ve been injured in a collision with a drowsy driver, an experienced vehicle accident attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the Injury & Disability Law Center by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.