Car Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving puts many individuals at risk of car accidents. Statistics show that driving while drowsy is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. According to AAA, one out of six fatal car accidents are linked to drowsy driving.

There are many indicators that a car accident is related to drowsy driving. These include signs that the driver did not make any effort to prevent the car crash. A drowsy driving car accident will typically result in an accident scene void of skid marks or signs of braking, and often results in a car crashing off the roadway.

Research shows that certain demographic groups are more susceptible to drowsy driving. These include:

  • Young men aged 18-29
  • Truck drivers
  • Shift workers
  • Individuals taking certain medication that indicate drowsiness as a side effect
  • Individuals with sleep disorders
  • Any individual who regularly sleeps less than eight hours nightly
  • Any individual who may be tired due to working long hours, lack of sleep due to interruption from children or staying out later than usual

Driving while drowsy adversely affects many common driving behaviors. Being tired while behind the wheel decreases a driver’s reflexes and impairs a person’s ability to process and react to a situation. Moreover, a driver will act less carefully if driving while fatigued.

Studies also show the similarities in driver impairment between drowsy driving and drunk driving. Data reveals that driving while drowsy is akin to drunk driving with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit. This means that getting behind the wheel when drowsy is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Unfortunately, there is not an accurate testing tool for law enforcement to use in order to identify drowsiness, unlike the Breathalyzer test used to identify drunk drivers.

Drowsiness in a driver is dangerous regardless of whether the individual actually falls asleep. Drowsy driving occurs any time a driver is overly tired. An individual is at risk of a drowsy driving car accident due to not only sleeping while behind the wheel, but also experiencing repeated episodes of “microsleeps” or concurrent incidents of almost falling asleep while driving. A sleep-related car accident can occur regardless of whether the person fell asleep, had mini “microsleep” episodes, or whether the driver was too fatigued to properly react in order to avoid a crash.

Preventing Drowsy Driving Car Accidents

American drivers need to be continuously educated on the real dangers of drowsy driving. Sadly, research portrays drowsy driving as a “silent killer” leading to many unnecessary fatal car accidents. Drowsy driving car accidents can be prevented. Individuals must ensure that they are well rested before getting behind the wheel. If it becomes apparent that a driver is overly tired, the driver must leave the roadway at once and get some rest before resuming driving.

Some common signs that an individual is too tired to drive include:

  • Repeated blinking and head nodding. Recurrent head drops are classified as “microsleeps” and are just as dangerous as falling asleep while driving.
  • Difficulty keeping one’s eyes focused, alert and open.
  • Lapses in memory or daydreaming.
  • Drifting out of the lane and/or swerving off the roadway.

Despite the known hazards of drowsy driving, many American drivers continue to take the risk and drive while tired.  According to a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 41% of drivers report falling asleep while driving. Moreover, 25% of drivers surveyed indicate that they drove while fatigued within the last 30 days.

To prevent and avoid a car accident, drivers must ensure that their total focus is on the roadway at all times. Driving while drowsy prevents a driver from remaining completely focused and reactive. Sadly, drowsiness while behind the wheel can have long-lasting and even deadly consequences.

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Fight for those Injured by Drowsy Driving Accidents

If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a drowsy driving car accident, Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates can assist you in identifying the responsible party and see just compensation for your injuries. Our offices are conveniently located Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Voorhees, New Jersey and we represent victims of car accidents throughout both states.  Call us today at 215-567-6600 or 856-663-2566 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our Philadelphia car accident lawyers.