It is a well-known fact that driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is both against the law and contrary to proper judgment, but in many cases, people do not give the same consideration to driving while fatigued. However, driving while overtired can lead to a situation where a driver is just as incapacitated as someone who has taken mood-altering substances before getting behind the wheel. There are many unfortunate accidents in Florida that stem from drivers suffering from fatigue, either by falling asleep at the wheel or making a dangerous error due to lack of sleep.
If you have been in an accident with a driver who you either suspect was fatigued or admitted to fatigue being part of the problem, contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible to be connected with an experienced, trustworthy personal injury attorney who can help you get the compensation that you deserve following this type of accident. Read more below to get a better idea of how fatigue can impact a driver’s ability to properly operate a vehicle, as well as how a car accident lawyer can guide you through the legal process of filing a claim, negotiating a settlement, or pursuing a lawsuit through the Florida courts.
How Does Fatigue Impact Driving Ability?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 25 adult drivers (aged 18 or older) report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that almost 72,000 accidents in the United States were caused by drowsy driving in 2013. This is a shocking number of accidents and shows that this is a serious issue that must be taken seriously.
When a driver is tired and gets behind the wheel, there are a number of things that impact their ability to drive safely. One major factor is the risk of nodding off while driving, which can create a very serious crash even if the driver dozes off for less than a second. In this time, they may hit the gas, turn the wheel, or make another action that causes their car to lose control.
In addition to the issue of falling asleep at the wheel, fatigued driving is sure to reduce your reaction times and the ability to make quick decisions. According to the National Sleep Foundation, operating a vehicle after 18 hours without sleep is the equivalent to having a BAC of .05, and the effects will only worsen from there. After 24 hours without sleep, a driver shows levels of impairment equal to a BAC of .10.
Proving Fatigue As a Factor In a Crash
If you are involved in an accident with a commercial driver, then you are in luck: they are required to keep extensive logs of their travels in order to comply with federal regulations and restrictions around the amount of time they can drive in any given period of time. However, if you are in an accident with someone operating a passenger vehicle, you will not have access to these types of logs. Instead, you will have to rely on their own statements to police, to you, or to other eyewitnesses.
If you suspect that fatigue was a factor in the accident but the other driver has not volunteered this information, it can be helpful to let the police who arrive at the scene know that you suspect this to be the case. During questioning, they may be able to confirm your suspicion.
A Car Accident Attorney Can Help
If the driver does not make a statement regarding their fatigue, then your attorney will be able to question them directly about what they recall in the moments leading up to the crash in order to determine what went wrong. If the driver fell asleep at the wheel, they will not actually remember the moment of impact. They may claim that they were unable to stop in time, or that there was some type of obstruction that kept them from avoiding the accident, but if the truth is that they had fallen asleep or there was some other issue, your lawyer will work to expose this information.
Contact Us Today
The sooner you begin working with an experienced car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach, the sooner you will be able to handle your legal issues with confidence and reduced stress. Working with an attorney is the best way that you can improve your chances of getting a settlement amount that you deserve, and that will cover your expenses, losses, and other damages incurred from this accident.
1-800-Injured will be happy to connect you to one of the many proven, aggressive lawyers in our network so that you can start work today with a trustworthy lawyer. Contact us now to get started.