Fatigued Driver Accidents
Fatigue can be fatal on the roads of North Carolina. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 25 drivers admits to falling asleep at the wheel at least once a month. Additionally, the CDC notes that drowsy driving causes more than 72,000 car crashes each year, resulting in 44,000 injuries and up to 6,000 deaths. While a higher number of drowsy driving accidents happen during the late evening and early morning hours, drivers may be fatigued at any time. Additionally, drowsiness can increase your chances of a distracted or drunk driving accident.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident caused by a fatigued driver, you may be entitled to compensation for property damage, serious injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and more. The North Carolina auto accident attorneys at Riddle & Brantley are on hand ready to help. Contact our car accident lawyers today for a no cost, no obligation evaluation of your accident claim.
What are the Signs of Driving While Fatigued?
It is important that drowsy drivers recognize when they could but putting themselves and others in danger. When a driver falls asleep behind the wheel, even for just one second, it is called “micro sleep” and can be very dangerous. Falling asleep behind the wheel can cause a vehicle to veer off road or into oncoming traffic. Upon waking, a person may over-steer, leading to a serious car accident.
Some common signs of driving while fatigued include:
- Nodding Off
- Yawning or Rubbing Your Eyes Frequently
- Missing Exits
- Turning the Radio Up or Rolling Windows Down
- Lane Drifting
- Loss of Concentration
- Feeling Restless
- Slow Response to Road Hazards
Fatigued drivers should also avoid taking medication or drinking energy drinks. This can ultimately lead to an energy crash and renewed drowsiness. If you are unused to driving at abnormal hours, consider scheduling time on the road when you are most alert and awake.
Who is Most at Risk for Drowsy Driving Accidents?
Most anyone is at risk of driver fatigue, whether it is a novice truck driver or parents on a road trip with their children. Driving for long, uninterrupted periods can lead to drowsiness, which can be even more dangerous for those who have not had adequate sleep. Additionally, drinking alcohol when you are already drowsy may make you more fatigued. This can make you more likely to cause a drowsy and/or drunk driving accident.
There are some persons who are more likely to engage in driving while fatigued, including:
- Night Shift Workers
- Employees Who Work Long Shifts (10 – 12 hours)
- Commercial Drivers
- People with Sleeping Disorders (Insomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea)
- Travelers Suffering from Jetlag
- Those Who Slept Less Than 8 Hours the Previous Night
- Those Who Have Been Awake for Over 18 Hours
Young drivers are also at high risk of serious personal injury from drowsy driving, especially if they drive at night. They are more likely to cause car crashes due to the combination of drowsiness and inexperience behind the wheel.
If you or anyone you know is showing signs of fatigue while driving, get off the road and find a place to sleep rather than endanger yourself and others. If you see anyone who is nodding off, lane drifting, or showing other signs of fatigue, alert the appropriate authorities as it could save someone’s life.
Hit by a Drowsy Driver? Contact Our North Carolina Auto Accident Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in an accident caused by a fatigued driver and are seeking comprehensive legal counsel, our auto accident attorneys are ready to help. With more than 160 years of combined legal experience, the lawyers at Riddle & Brantley are ready to help guide you through the entire process of your claim. In this way, we can give you peace of mind and help to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
We proudly serve personal injury victims throughout North Carolina from our offices in Goldsboro, Kinston, Jacksonville and Raleigh. However, we can represent your car accident claim anywhere, nationwide.
Do not hesitate to contact our Raleigh injury lawyers today at (800) 525-7111 to schedule your free initial case consultation. You can also contact us online by simply filling out a free case evaluation form – it is absolutely FREE and confidential.