When a Florida man blasted into a barrier while on a St. Cloud toll plaza, he was flung out of his vehicle and landed nearly 20 feet away. What caused the astounding accident? Police cite one key reason behind the crash: driver fatigue. Luckily in this case, the man and the passengers in his vehicle were all treated and released from a local hospital with only minor injuries. But we know that not every collision involving a drowsy driver ends so well. If you are the victim of a drowsy driver, a local personal injury attorney may be able to help.
Facts About Driving when Fatigued
The problem is really quite serious. Fatigued driving can occur for any number of reasons, but can be a particular issue for:
- Individuals who do shift work;
- Those who travel long distances without breaks;
- Commercial truck drivers;
- People with sleeping disorders that may have gone undiagnosed;
- Individuals who take medications that cause drowsiness;
- People who simply do not get enough sleep.
Consequences of Drowsy Driving;
When you get sleepy behind the wheel, there are dangers beyond the obvious problem of falling asleep while in control of a ton of steel:
- Difficulty paying attention to signs, signals, exits, and/or hazards;
- Delayed reactions if emergency steering or braking maneuvers are necessary;
- Unsound decision-making skills.
Statistics Worth Knowing
The statistics are quite alarming:
- 4 percent of drivers aged 18+ report actually falling asleep behind the wheel in the past month;
- Nearly four in ten drivers say they have fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in their lifetime;
- The chances of being involved in an accident when fatigued increase by five times over the chances of a collision when feeling alert;
- Most drowsy driving accidents occur after midnight or in the late afternoon hours;
- The estimate of the number of drivers who are involved in collisions due to fatigue is about 25 percent;
- Fatigued driving results in well over 320,000 crashes, 100,000 injuries, and perhaps as many as 6,400 fatalities across the country annually;
- The costs associated with drowsy driving accidents tops $100 billion per annum.
Avoid Drowsy Driving
Experts have several tips on how to avoid to drowsy driving:
- Get plenty of sleep before driving;
- Avoid medications that cause drowsiness and/or alcohol consumption prior to getting behind the wheel;
- Pull over if you find yourself yawning, blinking, or drifting out of your lane.
Following a Collision
Drowsy driving is no laughing matter. It is careless and irresponsible, and has the potential to injure or kill innocents. If you or a loved one crossed paths with a drowsy driver and suffered serious injuries or death due to no fault of your own, you deserve aggressive representation to collect damages to apply toward your medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with the collision. At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, our experienced team will provide you with knowledgeable support in your time of need. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a confidential consultation today.