Drowsy Driving Auto Accidents
For many Americans, sleep is an elusive goal. It’s the first thing that gets cut in our busy schedules, an expendable part of our daily routines that just isn’t as important as the rest of our demands. But several studies suggest that we should put a higher premium on the amount of rest we get every night. Not only can a lack of sleep have a terrible impact on our own lives, it can also endanger others.
Drowsy driving is one of the more overlooked causes of vehicle crashes in the United States. It is also one of the most common. One study suggests that as many as one-fifth of crashes could involve a drowsy driver. Unfortunately, even those of us who get an adequate amount of sleep every night might still be in danger of fatigued driving, simply because so many of the people we share roads with are driving on less-than-optimal levels of sleep.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drowsy driver, contact the New York drowsy driving accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC. Our team will investigate your case to determine whether another driver might have been fatigued when they caused your accident.
How Dangerous is Drowsy Driving?
When we get less sleep than we need, we lack focus and make more mistakes. These mistakes are particularly costly when we are behind the wheel. A report from AAA said that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Here are a few of their findings:
- Missing just one to two hours of sleep can double your risk of being involved in a vehicle crash.
- Missing two to three hours of sleep can quadruple your risk of being involved in a vehicle crash.
- Getting only four hours of sleep can increase your chances of being involved in a vehicle crash by nearly 12 times.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that around 35 percent of Americans sleep less than the recommended seven hours per night. Nearly all Americans surveyed said they believed a lack of sleep was dangerous, yet close to one-third of those surveyed admitted that, within the last 30 days, they got behind the wheel even though they could barely keep their eyes open.
Signs of Drowsy Driving
Whether you are looking for signs of fatigue in others or assessing your own risks for a drowsy driving crash, here are some important signs that could be red flags:
- Drifting from one lane to another
- Not remembering the past few minutes of driving
- Nodding off or finding it difficult to keep eyes open while driving
- Repeatedly yawning
- Constantly rubbing eyes
- Feeling restless, irritable or cranky.
Drowsy Driving Among Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators
The subset of drivers who are the most vulnerable to fatigue are those that do it for a living. Commercial truck drivers, for example, spend long hours behind the wheel and are often up against tight deadlines from employers. Additionally, nearly one-third of truck drivers are at risk for sleep apnea, which contributes to fatigue and is conducive to drowsy driving. Commercial truck drivers often find it difficult to locate a place to rest while on a long haul, forcing them to drive further than they should after a long shift on the road.
Fatigue has been cited by safety advocates as one of the biggest dangers in the transportation industry, including trucking, aviation and public transportation. In a review of transportation-related accidents, around 20 percent involved some form of fatigue.
Tips to Avoid Drowsy Driving
The best way to avoid being fatigued behind the wheel is to get plenty of sleep. But there are many other ways to make sure you stay awake while driving.
- Avoid driving during times of the day or night when you are usually asleep.
- Avoid eating heavy foods and large meals before driving.
- Make sure you have a passenger with you during long trips or when you are driving late at night.
- Take a break from driving every two hours or every 100 miles.
- Avoid driving after taking any medication that might make you drowsy or dizzy.
- If you believe you are getting tired, pull over immediately and find a place to rest.
If You’ve Been Injured by a Negligent Driver, Call Kaplan Lawyers PC
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a New York vehicle crash, contact the NYC drowsy driving attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC. While you might know that your crash was somebody else’s fault, you might find it difficult to determine why their negligence caused your crash. We will investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash to find out more about the other driver’s condition at the time of the incident.
Our attorneys often find that a negligent driver was fatigued, distracted or impaired when they caused our client’s injuries. We put all our experience to work for you, and we make sure that you get treated fairly and that you earn the compensation you deserve. Contact Kaplan Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation of your case.