The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that there are 328,000 car crashes every year caused by a drowsy driver. Of these, 109,000 involve injuries and 6,400 involve death. If you were harmed at the hands of a drowsy driver in Lake Charles, Louisiana, you may have a personal injury case against him or her.
Why drowsy driving is negligent
Drivers have a duty to keep themselves and other road users safe, and drowsiness clearly works against this. First of all, it makes drivers unable to pay attention to the road and notice hazards ahead. Second, it slows their reaction times. When one is severely drowsy, one will experience four- or five-second bursts of inattention called microsleep. Four or five seconds for a driver on the highway can translate to the distance of a football field.
Drowsy driving resembles drunk driving in its effects. The National Safety Council says that being awake for 20 continuous hours is like having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08%. It also states plainly that fatigue triples the chances of a car crash.
Symptoms of drowsiness
Drivers should know what the symptoms of drowsiness are, and if they experience these symptoms while on a long trip, they may consider pulling over for a short nap. The symptoms include continual yawning, trouble keeping the eyes open, lane drifting and trouble maintaining the same speed.
Interventions for drowsy driving
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults sleep a minimum of seven hours each night. If one is drowsy all day despite achieving the right quantity of sleep, one may have a sleep disorder. Interventions that can prevent drowsy driving include the use of crash avoidance tech like lane departure warning and drowsiness alert
A lawyer to represent you
Claims in the wake of motor vehicle accidents can be hard to file alone. With legal representation, you may achieve a settlement with the drowsy driver’s insurance company, one that covers medical bills, lost wages and other damages. You might start the process by requesting a case evaluation from a lawyer.