By: Darrell Castle
The possibility of you, or any driver, waking up in a car accident is scary and real. According to a November 2014 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 1 in 5 fatal car accidents involve a drowsy driver.
A lack of sleep reduces your ability to process information, pay attention and have accurate motor control, and it also slows your reaction time. These are all important driving skills. In this infographic, we outline what you need to know about the dangers of drowsy driving, and then we discuss these statistics in depth below.
If you’re a victim of a drowsy driving accident, we encourage you to get in touch with us today about possible compensation.
Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving
Statistics show that drivers who get less than 8 hours of sleep nightly are more likely to have a wreck than those who get 8 hours or more of sleep per night. Teenagers need even more sleep than that to be fully alert behind the wheel.
Besides the hours of sleep you get each night, there are several signs that can indicate if you’re too drowsy to be driving. Some of the warning signs of drowsy driving include:
- Yawning excessively
- Your eyelids feel heavy and you’re blinking a lot
- You keep missing your turns
- You nearly rear-end a driver in front of you
- You hear your tires drift onto the shoulder
- You don’t remember the last few miles you drove
Who is Most Likely to Get into Drowsy Driving Accidents?
Drowsy driving doesn’t get the criticism drunk driving gets, but it’s very dangerous. In 2014, some national light was shed on its dangers when Tracy Morgan was critically injured by a collision with a drowsy commercial truck driver. The passenger – and fellow comedian – in Tracy Morgan’s car was killed.
The fact that the accident occurred with a commercial truck driver is no coincidence. Along with late shift workers and frequent business travelers, commercial truck drivers are some of those most likely to drive drowsy. And big truck accidents are very dangerous, given the size of the vehicles involved. Here’s a video talking about what makes big truck accidents unique in personal injury.
Other people who are likely to drive drowsy include:
- Drivers with untreated sleep disorders like sleep apnea
- Drivers who use sedating medications
- Drivers who don’t get adequate sleep
You can prevent yourself from driving drowsy by getting enough sleep, seeking treatment for any sleep disorders you might have and refraining from drinking alcohol and taking sedating medication before you drive.
What to Do if You’re Injured in a Drowsy Driving Accident
Just because you prevent yourself from driving drowsy doesn’t mean other drivers will do the same. When you’re involved in a car accident caused by drowsy driving, you need to treat it as any other car accident.
I recommend that you download and print my Car Accident Checklist. It’ll keep you in-check and accountable at the scene of a wreck.
If you’re injured in a drowsy driving car accident, seek medical treatment. And then if the accident wasn’t your fault – or you aren’t sure whose fault it was – contact a personal injury attorney immediately.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to look at the details of the case and determine who was liable. If you weren’t liable, then you shouldn’t be held responsible for medical bills, lost wages from time off work, pain or suffering. Your attorney will work to make sure you’re compensated for all of that and more.
We’re Here for Victims of Drowsy Driving
For decades, our team of Memphis car accident lawyers has handled all kinds of auto accident cases, and this includes drowsy driving accidents.
We’re detailed, responsive and relentless in our approach. You’re a real person with a real problem – not just a case number. We’ll treat you like a real person and fight to get you the compensation you’re entitled to for your car accident injuries.
That’s one of the many reasons we’ve received multiple Client Distinction Awards from Martindale-Hubbell for client satisfaction. Your car accident case is in good hands with us.
Call (901) 327-2100 TODAY for a FREE case evaluation, or you can fill out the form on this page to have someone from our office contact you.