Driving while fatigued or sleep-deprived is an unsafe driving practice that often results in serious accidents and injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 100,00 fatigued driving collisions were reported and of those collisions, 8000 fatalities and nearly 50,000 injuries resulted. Fatigued driving is often the result of a lack of sleep. Anyone who does not maintain healthy sleeping habits or drives for several hours without adequate rest is at risk of driver fatigue. Please continue reading to find out how fatigued driving leads to car accidents and how an adept New York City Car Accident Lawyer can help you understand your rights and legal options.
How does fatigued driving lead to car accidents?
Fatigued driving and sleep deprivation can lead to serious car accidents as the effects of drowsiness are similar to those of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Research has shown that driving for 20 hours without rest is equivalent to driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% (the legal limit). Essentially, fatigued driving has the same effects as intoxication. Fatigued driving is considered impaired driving. A fatigued driver has slower reaction times to changing road conditions. It has been proven that motorists need at least three seconds to adapt to their surroundings. Motorists that suffer from drowsiness will have reduced awareness and concentration, which can cause them to lose focus on their primary task of driving. Driver fatigue causes motorists to be unable to make sound judgments on the road such as when to change lanes.
What are the symptoms and signs of driver fatigue?
It can sometimes be challenging to identify symptoms of fatigue. However, the following signs can indicate fatigued driving:
- If you have difficulty keeping your eyes open.
- If you are having difficulty keeping your head up or “nodding off.”
- If you are frequently yawning.
- If you are having trouble remembering the last few miles you have driven.
- If you are having difficulty maintaining your speed.
- If you are drifting out of your lane or crossing the roadway.
- If you are having difficulty following road signs.
- If you are experiencing short sleeping episodes.
All of the symptoms listed above are indicative of driver fatigue. Unfortunately, sometimes these symptoms are not able to be identified until it’s too late. Ultimately, motorists must stay off the road if they do not get enough sleep or feel drowsy. Fatigued driving is extremely dangerous and leads to serious car accidents.
In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident as a result of negligence, please don’t hesitate to retain the legal services of one of our trusted team members. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek reasonable compensation for their damages.