Drowsy Driving Accidents in Baltimore City
We are Committed to Protecting the Rights of Drowsy Driving Car Accident Victims
While most people would probably think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, too many people do not hesitate to operate a motor vehicle when they are tired. Between work, school, family, and life in general, oftentimes there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be done while still getting a good night’s sleep. As a result, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving has become one of the most serious traffic safety hazards in the United States.
Studies show that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. In fact, drowsy driving is responsible for at least one million car accidents each year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths. As anyone who has been sleep deprived knows, a lack of adequate sleep can reduce a person’s ability to focus and make quick decisions when necessary. That can have dire consequences when it causes a driver to drift in and out of a lane, to drive through a stop sign or red light, or to miss an exit. Surprisingly, an individual who has been without sleep for 21 hours can experience similar effects behind the wheel as if they had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent.
Common Risk Factors for Drowsy Driving
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are certain individuals who tend to be at greater risk for drowsy driving, including the following:
- Any individual who has had less than six hours of sleep is three times more likely to cause a car accident.
- Long-haul drivers are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. In fact, approximately 15 percent of all truck accidents are fatigue-related.
- People who have sleep apnea, or any other undiagnosed sleep disorders, are seven times more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.
- People who perform shift work, particularly night shift workers, are six times more likely to be involved in a fatigue-related wreck.
- Anyone taking medications that can cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, sleeping pills, and antihistamines.
- People who work an average of 60 hours per week are at a 40 percent greater risk of being involved in an accident.
- Young drivers, particularly males under the age of 26, are at greater risk.
Drowsy Driving Car Accidents Can be Difficult to Prove
A Breathalyzer test can prove that an individual was drunk. A radar detector can prove that a driver was speeding. Cell phone records can prove if a driver was talking or texting at the time of an accident. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, over one in ten American drivers admit to falling asleep while driving within the past year. Yet, there is currently no comparable way to definitively prove that drowsy driving caused a crash. Authorities will consider the following factors when determining whether fatigue was to blame:
- Presence of, or lack of skid marks.
- Employment records that may indicate long hours with not enough sleep.
- Traffic cameras that may capture images of the driver showing signs of fatigue.
- If the vehicle is a new model, it may come with a data recorder which shows how the person was driving at the time of the crash.
- Testimonies from witnesses who may have seen the driver nod off or show signs of drowsy driving.
Baltimore City Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Drowsy Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a drowsy driver, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore City car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. After thoroughly reviewing your case, our skilled legal team will recommend the best legal course of action. We will determine who is responsible for your injuries and pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, 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 Baltimore City.