The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that 2.5% of fatal crashes and 2% of injury crashes are caused by drowsy drivers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim fatal crashes caused by sleep-deprived drivers are in fact much higher.
The only safe way is to stop driving
There are various tips and tricks to help drivers stay awake at the wheel. Opening the windows, turning up the stereo or having an energy drink may have a limited short-term benefit, but the only thing that can ensure that you don’t cause an accident if you are tired is to stop driving. The CDC advises that drivers who feel tired should pull over, switch drivers if possible or take a rest. Consuming slow-release energy food and drink may help you to stay awake long enough to safely complete your journey.
Asleep at the wheel
When drivers fall asleep at the wheel, the damage they are liable to cause ― to other road users and to themselves ― can be especially devastating. If drivers encounter dangerous road conditions while awake, they usually have some ability to brake and slow their vehicle prior to an impact. However, drivers who have fallen asleep have no way of correcting for dangerous conditions and the speed of their vehicle on impact may be higher.
Drivers who nod off often have a greater tendency to veer unexpectedly from their lane into other lanes where traffic may be traveling at different speeds or even in the opposite direction.
Proving that a driver was asleep at the time of impact or was driving while tired is not easy, but is important if you believe that an accident that you were involved in was caused by a drowsy driver. A skilled and experienced automobile accident lawyer can help you to determine the cause of an accident, whom to sue and build an effective case against those liable for your injuries. Hoffman DiMuzio is a New Jersey law firm helping New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents hurt in motor vehicle accidents, for more than 25 years. Your initial consultation is free.
Publication approved by Scott C. McKinley, Esq., Associate of Hoffman DiMuzio