Sleep deprivation has become a global epidemic in the fast-paced, busy world we live in. As a result, it’s not uncommon for a driver to feel drowsy behind the wheel. Driving back home from work is especially difficult when all you want is some shut-eye. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about 100,000 police-reported drowsy driving accidents result in nearly 800 fatalities and about 50,000 injuries every year.
If you’ve recently been a victim of a vehicular or roadside accident where the other driver was admittedly drowsy and negligent in his driving, you could file a case and receive financial compensation for the consequences of the accident. Drowsy driving can lead to severe injuries and accidents that result in a load of medical bills and expenses. A case against the negligent driver, represented by a professional car accident attorney, might be your best option.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving has become one of the top killers in vehicular accidents and the statistics associated are sobering. If a driver has fallen asleep behind the wheel, dreadful consequences can lead to losing life, injury, and property damage.
Drowsy Driving vs. Drunk Driving
Drowsy driving might even be more dangerous than drunk driving or driving under the influence. When you drive under the influence, your reaction time is slow but not completely absent. There’s still a chance that you can save yourself from a horrendous crash incident. But a drowsy drivers’ reaction time isn’t just slowed down; it’s completely absent!
Common Causes of Drowsy Driving Crashes
When you’re feeling sleepy, you could transiently fall asleep behind the wheel, and that’s when most of the danger happens. You could completely lose control of your vehicle, and it might be too late to save yourself from the accident.
Many factors can contribute to drowsy driving, but some of the most common include:
- Not getting enough sleep: Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night, but many people get far less than that. If you do not get a good night’s sleep, you’re more likely to feel drowsy while behind the wheel.
- Driving at night: Nighttime driving can be especially dangerous because your body’s natural circadian rhythms make you feel sleepy around this time.
- Taking certain medications: Some medications, such as those for allergies or colds or sleep medicine, cause drowsiness. Be sure to check the label before getting behind the wheel.
- Drinking alcohol: Even a small amount of alcohol can make you drowsy. If you’ve been drinking, it’s best to call a cab or take public transportation.
Drowsy driving is no joke – if you’re feeling sleepy, pull over and take a break. It’s not worth risking your life or the lives of others.
Untreated Sleep Disorders
There are many different sleep disorders, but some of the most common include insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome.
- Insomnia is a condition that makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. People with insomnia often have trouble concentrating during the day and may feel tired even after getting a full night’s rest.
- Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes people to stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep. This can disrupt your sleep and cause you to feel exhausted during the day.
- Restless leg syndrome is a condition that causes an overwhelming urge to move your legs, often accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation like tingling or itchiness. This can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
If you think you might have a sleep disorder, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
Drowsy Truck and Commercial Vehicle Driving
Commercial trucks and loaders usually operate all day and night around, with the drivers in the night-shift suffering the most from sleep deprivation. What’s worse than falling asleep behind the wheel of a car is falling asleep behind the wheel of a truck. We’ve seen it happen on the TV. We’ve seen it happen to someone in real life – drowsy commercial drivers pose a serious threat to everyone around them.
Truck accidents are usually much more fatal than car accidents and can result in tremendous financial and emotional loss. Commercial drivers need to be extra vigilant and abide by the rules of the state that limit shift lengths. Accidents happen when drivers and concerned companies fail to obey the rules.
How to Prove Fault in Drowsy Driving Crashes
Many drivers try to keep themselves awake by taking caffeine, rolling down the windows, or turning up the radio, but these preventive measures aren’t always successful. Drowsy driving claims hundreds to thousands of lives every year, and it all boils down to one thing: negligence.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you can do a few things to help prove that the other driver was at fault. First, look for signs of drowsy driving, such as swerving or drifting into another lane. You can also ask witnesses if they saw the other driver falling asleep at the wheel. If you have dashcam footage, be sure to review it for any signs of drowsy driving.
Tips for Staying Safe on the Road
Drowsy driving considerably reduces your reaction time to non-existent values, but you’re also unable to make sound judgments. This means you could be breaking traffic lights and other rules without even acknowledging them.
You can take a few steps to build lifestyle habits for healthy sleep and stay safe on the road.
- If you’re feeling sleepy, it’s best to pull over and take a break. Go for a walk, have a cup of coffee, or take a nap. It’s also important to ensure you’re well-rested before getting behind the wheel. If you’ve been driving for more than eight hours, it’s best to stop for the night and get some rest.
- If you’re taking medication that makes you tired, check the label before driving. It’s also important to avoid drinking alcohol if you’re driving.
- If you have a sleep disorder, it’s important to get treatment. There are many different options available, and getting the right treatment can make a big difference in how well you can function during the day.
What The Fran Haasch Law Group Can Do For You
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we focus on helping you and your family recover. We pursue personal injury lawsuits, and wrongful death claims to obtain full compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and more.
With over 21 years of experience, we draw on constant medical research to help clients recover after being injured in auto accidents in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas. Founding personal injury attorney, Fran Haasch, is a lifetime member of the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum and a member of the American Association for Justice, the Florida Justice Association, and the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association.
Our attorneys are skilled and experienced litigators. We are not afraid to take your lawsuit to trial if necessary. No matter how complicated your case, our firm is here to help you navigate the legal process from start to finish.
We Get You the Compensation You Deserve
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we understand that no amount of financial recovery can undo what you have been through. However, a fair settlement or jury verdict can ease the financial burden of unexpected medical bills, lost income, and other economic and non-economic damages associated with your accident.
We have obtained multi-million-dollar jury verdicts and settlements in cases involving auto accidents, as well as claims concerning wrongful death and catastrophic injuries.
Here are a few of our car accident case results:
- $1.8 million for our client in Pinellas County who was injured in a car accident
- $1.8 million for a 33-year-old female client in Hillsborough County who was lawfully stopped for a left-turning vehicle ahead when she was rear-ended by the defendant vehicle, which was then rear-ended by the vehicle behind it, causing the client to feel two impacts. This resulted in multiple back surgeries and an infection which caused the client to be hospitalized several times.
- $1.6 million for a 25-year-old female passenger on a motorcycle when the defendant cut across the client’s path. The client was thrown over 200 feet from the motorcycle. The accident resulted in a fractured leg, broken finger, back surgery, and many other injuries.
- $1.55 million for a 46-year old male in Pasco County who was stopped at a red light on U.S. Highway 19 in Pasco County and was rear-ended by the defendant at a high rate of speed.
- $1.35 million for a client in Pasco County. The defendant turned left in front of our client, causing the client’s vehicle to flip and resulting in many injuries.
- $1.34 million for a 69-year-old male client in Orange County who was in the left turn lane when the defendant came across his pathway while attempting to turn and collided with the client. The accident resulted in multiple severe injuries, including a fractured pelvis, broken ribs, punctured lung, a broken arm that required surgery, and several lacerations.
- $1.3 million for a 33-year-old female client in Pinellas County who was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light with her three children in the car with her. The accident resulted in multiple surgeries and complications.
- $1.025 for our client injured in a car accident in Hillsborough County.
- $1.0 million for a client in Hillsborough County rear-ended in stop-and-go traffic on the interstate.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are committed to fighting for your fair recovery. We strive to help injured individuals and the loved ones of those wrongfully killed, secure the full, fair recovery they are owed. We offer dedicated legal representation for car accident victims and victims of bicycle, rideshare, and semi-truck accidents.
If you feel you have been the victim of a car accident through no fault of your own. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed. Call (727) 637-0100 or contact us online to get started on receiving maximum compensation for your personal injury case.