Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
The American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety previously found the number of drowsy-driving-related crashes is much higher than government agencies believed. While some agencies estimated drowsy driving was a factor in up to 3 percent of accidents, AAA found it was an issue in 7 percent of crashes where a vehicle had to be towed, 13 percent in crashes that led to a person’s hospitalization, and 17 percent of fatal accidents between 1999 and 2008. Clearly, driver fatigue leads to hundreds of thousands of crashes, tens of thousands of injuries, and hundreds of deaths. It is a legitimate safety issue on our roads. You are at risk for causing an accident when you are overly tired and you could be hurt in an accident caused by a drowsy driver.
If you suffered injuries in a crash and you believe the at-fault driver was fatigued, contact our Ohio car accident lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. We understand how complex drowsy driving accidents can be to prove and will aggressively represent your interests during an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW or contact us online to learn more.
Signs of Driver Fatigue
There are a few clear ways to tell if you are too tired to be driving, including:
- Consistent yawning
- Trouble keeping your eyes open and constant blinking
- Trouble concentrating on the road or wandering thoughts
- Difficulty keeping your head up
- Not remembering the previous few minutes or miles of driving
- Weaving between lanes or onto the shoulder
- Not having slept 6-8 hours within the previous 24 hours
- Feeling yourself falling asleep
How Driver Fatigue Causes Collisions
It is obvious that if you fall asleep behind the wheel, you are going to cause an accident. You may not collide with another vehicle, however, you are eventually going to run into something and hurt yourself. However, falling asleep while driving is not the only risk associated with drowsy driving. Other issues related to being overly tired increase your chance of causing a collision.
When you are overly tired, you have trouble concentrating. This can lead you to pay less attention to the road conditions, other vehicles around you, and speed limit. Your lack of concentration can make you miss an upcoming hazard on the road such as a large pothole, broken down vehicle, or deer.
When you are drowsy, you are less likely to notice a problem as soon as you would when you are alert. Once you do recognize a problem, your drowsiness also makes you slower to react. Sleepiness dulls your reaction time. You could also overreact because you are not thinking clearly. You may need to gradually slow down, honk your horn and flash your bright lights to scare away a deer. However, being drowsy may cause you to dangerously swerve or slam on your brakes.
Another side effect of a lack of sleep is being irritable and aggressive. Driving while drowsy can increase the change of tailgating, speeding, or making reckless decisions behind the wheel because you are in a bad mood and in a hurry.
What to Do When You Feel Tired
There are times when you will be very tired yet need to drive somewhere. You should put your safety first and not immediately head out onto the road. If you are overly tired, you should:
- Let your friends, family, or employer know you will be late
- Take a 20-minute nap before driving
- If you need to drive more than 2 hours, schedule breaks for naps and exercise
- Have some caffeine through coffee, tea, or pop
- Eat an energy-providing snack such as coffee, fruit, or a protein bar
- Avoid alcohol or medications that make you drowsy
- Take or walk or do some jumping jacks before getting behind the wheel
- Avoid driving late at night or in the early hours of the morning
If You Are Hurt in a Drowsy Driving Accident, Contact KNR Today
If you believe a tired driver who should not have been behind the wheel caused your accident and injuries, the collision should be investigated and you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. The Ohio car accident attorneys of Kisling, Nestico & Redick have the experience and resources you need to review and analyze your accident and inform you of your best course of action. KNR can represent you following an accident, including handling the insurance claim processes, negotiating a settlement, and if necessary, filing a lawsuit.
To learn more about how we can help you recover from a drowsy driving accident, call us at 1-800-HURT-NOW.