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Car Accident Information Center

Car Accident Lawyer


tired woman passenger and man driving falling asleep at the wheel

When one thinks of a car accident, causes like vehicle malfunction, distracted driving, overspeeding, drunk driving, terrible weather conditions, and the like come to mind. The idea that serious car accidents can occur as a result of driver fatigue is less popular. However, a large majority of the accidents on our roads today are indeed caused by driver fatigue. Being tired and/or sleepy on the wheel is a big no-no, you can’t cheat Mother Nature and, in most cases, we are not in control of when our body decides to regain the energy it has lost by sleeping. It is the responsibility of the driver to always be in a state of sound mind and body before hitting the road.

If you, a family member, or a friend of yours, have been injured in a driver fatigue accident, and you need a drowsy driver accident lawyer, The Injury Firm is at your service 24/7. Our experienced drowsy driving attorneys will stop at nothing to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.


What Is Drowsy Driving?

Drowsy driving is driving a vehicle while tired or sleepy. This feeling of drowsiness can be a result of one not getting enough sleep, drinking alcohol, sleep disorders, medications, and working late shifts. What makes drowsy driving particularly dangerous is the fact that when a driver falls asleep at the wheel, he/she makes no effort to avoid an obstacle or a collision with other vehicles, and this can potentially be more fatal when compared to a drunk driver who applied the brakes or at least tried to avoid the obstacle. Here are some common characteristics of accidents caused by sleep-deprived drivers include;

  • The driver makes no effort to avoid the crash either by way of braking or swerving.
  • The accident typically occurs on the highway.
  • Usually involves a single-vehicle going off the road.
  • The accident is likely to occur after midnight (late night or early morning) or mid-afternoon.

Drowsy Driving; The Facts

  • There was a total of 4,111 fatalities involving drowsy driving between 2013 to 2017. (Source)
  • In 2017, there were 91,000 reported cases of drowsy driving. 50,000 of those cases resulted in injuries. (Source)
  • According to a study done by the National Sleep Foundation, 4 percent of the respondents admitted to driving drowsy every day or almost every day. 12 percent said they drove in a fatigued state for some days in the week, and 27 percent said they occasionally drove drowsy for a few days in a month.
  • Accidents resulting from drowsy driving incur up to $12.5 billion in losses, annually!
  • In countries outside the US (Australia, England, Finland), accidents caused by drowsy driving account for between 10 – 30 percent of all car accidents. (Source)

The above statistics show how common drowsing driving is in our society today and how disastrous it can be.

Causes of Drowsy Driving

Why do people drive when they feel sleepy? Do they do it on purpose? Or was it not their fault? well, let’s take a look at some of the causes of drowsy driving.

  • Inadequate sleep; People who are always on the move and have to drive most of the time are most likely to be sleepy while driving. An example of such people is FedEx truck drivers.
  • There is also the issue of disrupted sleep patterns which shift workers suffer from because they have to work sometimes all through the night and other times all through the day. So, their body tries to find a way to recover from lost sleep, and they have little or no control over where and when their body decides to go to sleep. It may well be while they drive.
  • Sleeping disorders prevent a lot of people from getting sound sleep at night. You can imagine what happens when one who had little or no sleep during the night takes the wheel the very next morning. They are bound to feel drowsy while they drive.
  • Taking medications that cause drowsiness.

Symptoms of Fatigue

Should in case you feel any of these symptoms while you are driving, do well to take a few minutes off driving to rest or sleep.

  • Difficulty in focusing on the road.
  • Feeling heaviness in your eyes.
  • Yawning more than usual.
  • Rubbing your eyes.
  • Blurry vision.

Preventing Drowsy Driving

The solution is pretty simple. It all boils down to getting enough sleep. Always ensure that you are at least not lacking in sleep before you hit the road. If you are going to be driving for long distances, be sure to take naps from time to time.

Pay attention to what you eat or drink. Don’t take alcohol or any other substance that induces drowsiness before driving.

Drowsy Driving Compared to Drunk Driving

Alcohol and a lack of sleep pretty much have the same effects on the human body. Just like with alcohol, a lack of sleep will affect how well one can perform a particular function (like driving). Being sleep deprived will make one restless, and mentally unstable, which is bad for driving.

Some may even argue that drunk drivers are better off when compared to sleep-deprived drivers because drunk drivers still maintain some ability to take action in the event of an accident while a driver who is asleep at the wheel can’t.

Need A Drowsy Driving Attorney?

Most drivers who fall asleep at the wheel and then cause an accident conveniently leave out the part where they fell asleep in their police report. If you are going to stand any chance of getting compensated for injuries to you or damages to your property caused by a sleepy driver, then you will need a trusted and experienced drowsy driving attorney in your corner.

Here at The Injury Firm, we are experienced at handling cases involving drowsy drivers. We will perform a thorough investigation to find irrefutable evidence to support your case and get you all that you deserve. Call us today to get started. Remember, time is of the essence, the sooner you reach out, the better your chances of getting compensated.

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