According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 100,000 police-reported motor vehicle collisions are directly related to a fatigued driver every year. As a result, fatigue has recently been acknowledged as a leading factor that is currently impacting traffic crashes across the United States.
It's a startling admission that the majority of American drivers have admitted to making the decision to operate a vehicle while tired at least once in their lifetime.
In many cases, motorists often feel that they can overcome this feeling and drive through it. However - unfortunately, drowsy drivers have trouble performing even simple driving tasks, as a result of their exhaustion. Due to their impaired judgment caused by being tired, even braking to avoid another vehicle or swerving to avoid a road obstacle can provide too much of a challenge, which can have disastrous consequences.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a negligent driver, the Tennessee auto accident attorney here at Greg Coleman Law can help. Accident victims are often entitled to compensation to recover from lost wages, medical bills, as well as pain and suffering, and with that in mind, we can help determine if you are eligible to receive these benefits.
To learn more, please fill out the Free Case Review located to the right - it's free.
Warning Signs of Fatigue
Even the most experienced drivers are susceptible to driver fatigue, which places exhaustion as one of the most high risk types of driving behaviors that motorists can encounter on our roads.
Recognizing warning signs of fatigue is a great way to help reduce the risk of an injury. Unfortunately, many drivers simply do not know what signs to look for, or even worse, choose to ignore them. Understanding what do look for in a fatigued driver can also help to deter sleepy motorists from venturing onto our roads.
Some of the most common warning signs of fatigue include (but are not limited to):
- Difficulty focusing
- Heavy eyelids
- Frequent blinking
- Excessive yawning
- Tired and/or burning eyes
- Feeling unaware of the surrounding environment
- Unable to recall the last few miles driven
- Drifting, swerving, or tailgating
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms while operating a vehicle, find a safe place to pull over as soon as possible. By taking even a 20 minute rest can help to reduce the effects of driver fatigue, and may make it safer for you to complete your journey.
The Consequences of Driving When Tired
The consequences associated with driver fatigue are very serious. In this particular type of car accident, drivers are unaware that a collision is about to occur, and thus, are unable to hit the brakes or make any kind of adjustments to prevent the crash.
Combining impaired judgment, slowed reaction times, and a heightened level of negligence creates a potentially disastrous driving situation. Reports estimate that nearly 30 percent of all fatal auto accidents are due some form of drowsiness.
While impaired driving in the form of drug and/or alcohol use is measurable - in contrast, the inability to exactly measure the impairment of fatigue indicates that an even greater number of auto fatalities and injuries may be occurring each year, without being documented as a fatigue-involved collision.
It's important to note that extremely tired motorists offer the same danger to the roads as a driver under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. According to the Journal of Sleep Research, after just two hours of continuous nocturnal driving, motorists displayed the driving ability equivalent to a person with a BAC of 0.05. After three hours, that rate increased to 0.08%.
Needless to say, driving when tired places all motorists on the road at serious risk.
Avoiding an Accident with a Fatigued Driver
Collisions due to drowsy driving are most certainly preventable. Nevertheless, thousands of drivers choose to get in a car every year when they are too drowsy to drive. By keeping in mind a few simple tips to avoid these dangerous situations, you chances of avoiding a collision can be reduced.
Some of these easy steps may include:
- Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night
- For every two hours of driving, take a 15 minute break
- Avoid driving at night or during normal sleeping hours
- During long road trips, split up the driving time
- Do not travel in excess of 8-10 hours a day
- Avoid alcohol, drugs, or medicines that cause drowsiness
- Chew gum or drink caffeine to stay awake and alert
Adhering to the above avoidance tactics will greatly reduce the likelihood of a collision due to driving while fatigued. If you or a loved one has been injured, a Tennessee auto accident attorney is prepared to take on your case today.
Need Help? Contact Our Tennessee Attorneys Today
Have you been injured due to the negligence of a drowsy driver? Here at Greg Coleman Law, our team of car accident attorneys are passionate about seeking justice for you.
As responsible members of our Tennessee community here in Knoxville, our personal injury lawyers are proud of our hard-won reputation of representing injury victims and their families, and can help to guide each of our clients safely through the legal process. We provide a comprehensive legal solution to your compensation claim, and will fight for your MAXIMUM allowable amount.
To find out more, call us on (865) 247-0080 and a member from our intake team will assist with your inquiry - quickly connecting you to one of our attorneys after obtaining some basic information about your incident.
If you would prefer to start immediately, simply fill out the "Free Case Review" form located at the top of this page.