Imagine getting an early start on your cross country road trip at 4 a.m. The traffic will be light, so you will be able to log some serious miles before the rush hits. As you drive out of town, a car you were passing veers into your lane, so you take evasive action to avoid it. You had to put your car in a ditch to avoid the other driver.
Fortunately, the other driver was fine. However, you suffered some serious injuries, including cracked ribs and a broken arm. Furthermore, your car is totaled. It turns out, the other driver was not drunk or under the influence of drugs. He was suffering from fatigue.
Drowsy driving contributes to a significant amount of car accidents throughout the U.S. If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s drowsy driving, you may be able to sue for compensation for medical expenses and the damage to your car. A local Virginia personal injury attorney can review your case and advise you on the best course of action.
Effects of drowsiness
Driving drowsy is very much like driving drunk. It causes drivers to lose focus and pay less attention to the road. It also slows down reaction times and limits drivers’ abilities to make good choices. Many rear-end accidents happen because the driver was not focused on what was happening in front of him.
On average, one in 25 drivers over the age of 18 has fallen asleep behind the wheel within the last four weeks. According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 72,000 car crashes that occurred in 2013 were due to people driving while fatigued.
Drivers at risk
In general, drivers that are sleep deprived are most likely to drive drowsy. Tractor-trailer drivers, bus drivers and any other person that spends the majority of the day behind the wheel are more likely to drive drowsy than the average commuter. People with sleep disorders and those on sleep-inducing medication are also at high risk of driving drowsy. Workers that are on the night shift or those that take long shifts are also some of the most common people to drive fatigued.
If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligent driving, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.