Drowsy driving, or driving while sleepy, is a major cause of motor vehicle crashes, often with deadly consequences.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 697 deaths were caused by drowsy-driving related crashes in 2019. In 2017, approximately 91,000 crashes were drowsy-driving related, resulting in 50,000 injuries (“Drowsy Driving,” NHTSA).
While falling asleep at the wheel can lead to a driver running off the road or colliding with another vehicle, a driver does not need to fall asleep to pose a danger to others. According to the Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation poses a risk similar to driving while intoxicated.
At Phil Hall, P.A., we handle car crash cases involving distracted or impaired drivers who cause injury to our clients. Often, we think of these drivers being impaired by alcohol or distracted by a cell phone; however, falling asleep at the wheel, even for a second, can result in a crash. In fact, according to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep at the wheel often run off the road at a high rate of speed with no evidence that the driver attempted to brake.
Motor vehicle crashes related to drowsy driving tend to happen between midnight and 6 a.m., involve a single driver, and occur on rural roads and highways. Avoiding these situations can help prevent serious injury. In addition, drivers should know the signs of drowsy driving.
- Tired eyes—yawning and/or blinking frequently
- Mental missteps–missing an exit, unable to remember the last few miles
- Hitting the rumble strips or drifting
- Following cars too closely and not being able to maintain a proper speed
If you have been injured by a distracted or drowsy driver, contact a personal injury attorney. Phil Hall is a Pensacola personal injury attorney with over 20 years of experience handling car wreck cases involving serious injury. Consultations are free and can be schedule by phone, 850-760-2156, or by visiting AskALawyerFirst.com.