Driver fatigue is a serious problem resulting in many car accidents each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 100,000 motor vehicle accidents are caused by fatigued drivers in the United States each year.
When a driver is tired and sleepy behind the wheel, it is likely that he or she will pay less attention to the road conditions and other vehicles on the road. The driver’s lack of concentration can make him or her miss an upcoming hazard, resulting in a serious injury or death. A fatigued driver cannot suddenly brake or swerve to avoid an accident.
Factors That Increase the Risk of Car Accidents Caused by Driver Fatigue
- Loss of sleep
- Sedating medications
- Alcohol consumption
- Unrecognized or untreated sleep disorders
- Driving between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.
- Mid-afternoon driving
- Driving a significant number of hours every day
- Driving for long time periods without a break
Signs of Fatigued Driving
- Consistent yawning
- Trouble keeping eyes open and constant blinking
- Trouble concentrating on the road
- Wandering thoughts
- Difficulty keeping head up
- Not remembering the previous few minutes or miles of driving
- Weaving between lanes or onto the shoulder
- Feeling like falling asleep
Who Are at Risk of Fatigued Driving?
- Commercial truck drivers, because they spend much more time driving than the general public
- Young drivers
- Shift workers with interrupted sleep or irregular hours
- People with untreated sleep disorder
- Drivers who take sedating medications
Sleep deprivation plays a major role in car accidents caused by driver fatigue. Drivers who get 8 hours of sleep or more are less likely to be involved in accidents as compared to those who get 6 or 7 hours of sleep. Drivers who get fewer than 5 hours of sleep are at higher risk of accidents by 4 or 5 times.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident caused by a fatigued driver, contact the car accident attorneys at Marvin A. Cooper, P.C. We are experienced in handling car accident cases and will ensure that your legal rights are protected. Call 914-357-8911 or 718-619-4215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.