Driving while drowsy can be a dangerous choice, not only for the driver but for every other traveler on the road. An exhausted motorist may feel they can fight off sleep and make those last few miles, but that confidence can have deadly consequences.
If you or a family member are hit by a careless driver who fell asleep at the wheel, please contact a Turlock auto accident attorney to discuss your best options. You didn’t cause your accident and you shouldn’t have to face enormous hospital expenses, lost paychecks at work, and anxiety over bills alone. The driver who made the careless choice to drive drowsy should provide compensation to cover your entire physical and financial recovery.
Turlock Drowsy Driver Accident Dangers
Turlock motorists are doing more and more behind the wheel. They may order a pizza on an app from the driver’s seat. They may try to read a book while driving (there are documented cases). These distractions can be dangerous, but no one can take a nap at the wheel and expect a positive outcome.
Unfortunately, people who are drowsy may not be in the right state of mind to make a good decision. They may feel like they’ll wake up when they get on the road. It’s an assumption that has cost many lives.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in a single year, 2017, 91,000 accidents were attributed to fatigued driving. That year saw nearly 800 deaths associated with drowsy driving. Over a five year span, 4,111 victims lost their lives in these tragic accidents.
Severe Consequences of Drowsy Driving
Drivers asleep at the wheel can present unique and dangerous hazards to other motorists. The results can be similar to those of DUI accidents in that the irrational moves they make can make them hard to avoid. The injuries in these accidents can be especially severe for several reasons:
- Random Driving – Good drivers can sometimes steer clear of a bad driver by anticipating their hazardous maneuvers. But drowsy drivers can be unpredictable and they can approach other cars in unexpected moments and angles and make collisions unavoidable.
- Added Force at Impact – Alert drivers will hit the brakes when they see an impact coming. When a driver is asleep they can’t see anything in front of them and won’t be able to slow down at all. As a result, they’ll carry a lot more speed into an accident increasing the potential of serious injuries.
- Driving with no awareness – Even bad drivers can sometimes recover from their mistakes and steer out of an accident. Sleeping drivers can’t usually correct their mistakes even when they wake up at the last moment. Sleeping drivers might even be traveling in the wrong direction, heading straight for oncoming traffic but won’t be aware enough to correct their error.
Avoiding Drowsy Driving In Turlock
The NHTSA offers tips on avoiding fatigued driving.
- Avoid alcohol. Even if you aren’t legally over the limit, alcohol can make you even sleepier.
- Teens are at special risk of drowsy driving. They can be getting less sleep at a time when their young bodies require more rest to function properly. They tend to have more trouble on longer trips than older drivers.
- Check medication. Make sure the pills you take don’t carry a drowsiness risk.
- Avoid certain times of the day. It may be obvious that the period between midnight and 6 a.m. is a riskier time for drowsy drivers, but late afternoon can also be a dangerous time as daylight fades but traffic is increasing.
- Notice the signs of fatigue. If you’re nodding off, it’s a clear sign to get off the road. Noticing that you’re veering out of your lane repeatedly or over onto rumble strips on the side of the road is also a warning to pull over.
Compensation for Victims of Drowsy Drivers
If you are injured by a careless driver or someone asleep at the wheel, it may be necessary to file a claim for damages to get fully compensated for all of your financial hardships that can pop up after an accident. You can demand reimbursement for things like medical bills and lost wages at work.
It’s not just financial damages that can earn compensation. If your injury caused considerable pain and anguish that may factor into the final amount you receive. Emotional pain and suffering can also be assessed and considered in a compensation award. An attorney can make sure you don’t forget to list any hardship in a claim that could potentially earn you compensation.
Contact a Turlock Car Accident Attorney
After an accident involving a serious injury in Turlock or anywhere in Central Valley, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice, and personalized attention to detail their case deserves.