Anne Arundel County Car Accident Lawyers
Drowsy Driving Car Accidents
Between work, school, family activities, and life in general, Americans lead very busy lives. As a result, sleep often falls by the wayside, leaving people feeling tired, unable to focus, and slow to make decisions. When a drowsy driver gets behind the wheel of a car, this can have very serious consequences. Unfortunately, drowsy driving is largely unrecognized as the safety hazard that it is. Yet, studies show that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that it is one of the most unrecognized traffic safety hazards affecting millions across the country.
While any driver who has had too little sleep is at risk of causing a drowsy driving wreck, certain individuals are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the following people are at greater risk of being involved in a drowsy driving car accident:
- A driver who has had fewer than six hours of sleep is three times more likely to cause a car accident.
- Truck drivers, and other long-haul drivers in the transportation industry.
- Any individual who has a chronic sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea. These people are nearly seven times more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.
- Employees who work particularly long hours, including shift workers. According to research, they are six times more likely to be involved in a sleep-related accident. People who work more than 60 hours per week are at a 40 percent greater risk of being in a car accident.
- Anyone taking medications that could cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, sleep aids, or antihistamines.
- Young drivers, particularly males under the age of 26.
Eye-Opening Statistics on Drowsy Driving
AAA surveyed a group of drivers about drowsy driving and how often they fell asleep at the wheel. Of the drivers surveyed, 41 percent said that they fell asleep while driving at some point since getting their driver’s license. Ten percent of the respondents admitted to falling asleep while driving at least once over the past year. Nationwide, drowsy driving is responsible for more than 100,000 car accidents annually, resulting in 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
How to Prove Drowsy Driving Caused an Accident
Certain traffic violations such as speeding, distracted driving, or drunk driving are fairly easy to prove. Law enforcement has a more difficult time proving drowsy driving as the cause of a car accident. However, the following factors are helpful in determining whether driver fatigue was the main cause of the accident:
- The presence, or lack thereof, of any skid marks on the road.
- Timesheets or other records from an employer that prove the driver was working long hours with not enough sleep.
- Traffic cameras that can provide evidence of the driver’s behavior immediately prior to the accident.
- Vehicle data recorders that are available in many newer vehicles. This technology can provide evidence as to how the person was driving before the crash.
- Testimonies from witnesses who may have observed the driver swerving or nodding off while driving.
Anne Arundel County Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a drowsy driver, it is in your best interest to have skilled legal representation on your side. The Anne Arundel County car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton have a proven history of reaching successful outcomes for our clients. We will determine whether the driver responsible for the accident was driving while drowsy. Our dedicated team will then seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our experienced car accident lawyers, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, which includes the towns of Annapolis Neck, Arden on the Severn, Arnold, Brooklyn Park, Cape Saint Claire, Crofton, Crownsville, Deale, Edgewater, Ferndale, Fort Meade, Friendship, Galesville, Gambrills, Glen Burnie, Herald Harbor, Jessup, Lake Shore, Linthicum, Maryland City, Mayo, Naval Academy, Odenton, Parole, Pasadena, Pumphrey, Riva, Riviera Beach, Severn, Severna Park and Shady Side.