Driver fatigue is a common yet avoidable issue that puts the motorists and others on the road at risk of being involved in a serious car collision. Drowsy driving is a common issue when a motorist does not get enough sleep or when they have been driving long hours without a break.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, half of American adults admit to driving while drowsy, and 20 percent say they have fallen asleep while driving in the last year.
According to Louisiana Crash Data Reports more than 2,600 car collisions were attributed to the driver’s condition at the time of the crash. Furthermore, there were more than 2,000 collisions that were alcohol-related, which often leads to drowsy driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, the victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages and more.
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Common Signs Of Drowsy Driving
Fatigued drivers have a tendency to engage in what is called “micro sleep”. Micro sleep is simply the act of quickly nodding off while driving. It is important that drivers who are tired realize that accidents can happen in seconds so even nodding off for one second can lead to a car wreck.
Some other signs of drowsy driving include:
- Forgetting the last few miles travelled
- Missing exits or important signs
- Lane drifting
- Loss of concentration
- Slowed response to road hazards/rumble strips
- Constant yawning
- Sore/reddish eyes
- Variations in driving speed
Many people will attempt to stay awake by lowering their windows or playing music loudly, change in behavior is just another sign of driving while fatigued.
Additionally, fatigued driving is not always caused by one being too tired or driving for hours at a time. Some other causes of drowsy driving include:
- Side effects of prescribed medicines
- Undiagnosed/unknown sleeping disorder
- Drugs and alcohol
If you or a loved one relies on prescription medication it is important to read the side effects and information that comes with it. Many prescription drugs cause drowsiness and advise users to avoid operating machinery.
How To Avoid Driving While Fatigued
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 accidents in the United States each year. Unfortunately, all these accidents were preventable if the driver at-fault would have avoided driving while fatigued.
A few ways to avoid drowsy driving include:
- Getting adequate sleep before a long drive
- Traveling with at least one more person
- Avoiding driving during hours when you would normally be asleep
- Taking breaks as needed
- Eating high-protein meals during long rides
- Recognizing when you, or a loved one, are too tired to drive
- Drinking caffeine sparingly
It is important that drivers recognize when they are drinking too much caffeine in order to stay awake. Caffeine and sugar tend to increase energy but later lead to an energy crash and leave an individual feeling more tired than they were before.
Accident Caused By A Fatigued Driver? Call Our Lawyers Today.
The NHTSA estimated that more than two percent of all car collisions in the United States are related to drowsy driving. If you or a loved one is seeking legal counsel after being the victim of a drowsy driving accident, our attorneys are here to help.
At the law offices of Simien & Simien, LLC, we understand how serious such accidents are, especially because the incident could have been avoided if the driver at-fault had acted reasonably. Our attorneys have a tremendous amount of legal experience and will work to help guide you or your loved ones through the litigation process.
We have offices in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, Louisiana, but proudly serve the surrounding areas.
We are a law firm you can trust to fight for what is right and just. To learn more about your legal rights and how we may be able to help you, contact us toll-free at 800-374-8422. One of our steadfast intake staff members will connect you with one of our attorneys best suited in handling your specific claim.