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Car Accidents Caused by Fatigued Driving

For drivers, 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.

Drowsy driving causes more than 72,000 car accidents each year, involving roughly 40,000 injuries and 6,000 deaths.If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident caused by a fatigued driver in North Carolina, you may be entitled to compensation. This might include property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and more. Our legal team here at Riddle & Brantley is ready to help. Contact our experienced car accident lawyers today for a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your accident claim.

As always, you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.

How Does Fatigue Affect Driving Ability?

Humans are governed by the sleep/wake cycle, based on our bodies’ natural circadian rhythm. Scientific evidence shows that sleep is a basic necessity and cannot be overridden through artificial means, such as caffeine or other stimulants. When drivers fail to get enough sleep or when they drive late at night, they will always be susceptible to sleepiness behind the wheel. In fact, it is one of the most common causes of car accidents.

A sleep-deprived driver will experience the following deficits:

  • Slower reaction time: Even a slight decrease in a person’s reaction time will increase the risk of a crash. This is particularly true when the person is traveling at high speed.
  • Reduced vigilance: A sleep-deprived driver will have trouble paying attention to the road and the changing traffic patterns.
  • Information processing difficulty: Sleepiness causes individuals to have trouble processing information accurately, which causes performance deficits.

Even a slight decrease in driving performance can have fatal consequences, and even a little sleepiness can impair performance. At Riddle & Brantley, we aggressively litigate cases involving negligent driving. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.

The consultation is free, there is no obligation, and we don’t get paid unless you do.

What Are the Signs of Drowsy Driving?

Drowsy drivers must recognize when they could be putting themselves and others in danger. When they fall asleep behind the wheel, even for just one second, it is called “micro sleep.” It can cause a vehicle to veer off the road or into oncoming traffic. Upon waking, a person may over-correct, potentially leading to a serious car accident.

Some common signs of driving while fatigued include:

  • Nodding off
  • Hallucinations
  • Yawning or rubbing your eyes frequently
  • Missing exits
  • Drowsiness
  • Turning the radio up or rolling windows down
  • Lane drifting
  • Loss of concentration
  • Feeling restless
  • Slow response to road hazards

Drivers who notice any of these signs should pull over or find a hotel.

Who Is Most at Risk of Drowsy Driving Accidents?

Everyone is potentially at risk of driver fatigue, whether they are novice truck drivers or parents on a road trip with their children. However, certain people are at a higher risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. These include:

  • Night shift workers
  • Employees who work long shifts (10 – 12 hours)
  • Commercial drivers
  • People with sleeping disorders (insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea)
  • Travelers suffering from jet lag

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.

A Look at Drowsy Driving and Truck Accidents

Truck accidentsTruck drivers are often required or pressured to drive long distances without rest and drowsy driving is a serious risk. are among the most catastrophic. Due to the sheer weight and size of a big rig, the force of the crash can be considerable. Even rear-end collisions that might have been relatively minor for a passenger vehicle can become deadly when the negligent driver is behind the wheel of a big rig. What’s more, truckers are a high-risk group for falling asleep at the wheel.

The hours of service rules for truck drivers are intended to curb drowsy driving among commercial drivers. Yet, all too often, drivers flout the regulations, or their companies look the other way. Furthermore, truck drivers often drive during irregular hours—which increases the risk of an accident.

In a fatigued driving accident case involving a commercial big rig, our lawyers at Riddle & Brantley may name several parties as defendants. These may include the truck driver, trucking company, equipment leasing company, loaders, or other entities. Not sure who is liable? Contact us today!

The consultation is free and you won’t pay a dime in attorney fees unless we win your case and recover compensation for you.

Our Car Accident Case Results

Our attorneys here at Riddle & Brantley have a successful track record of negotiating substantial settlements and litigating car accident lawsuits on behalf of our valued clients (see disclaimer below). We encourage you to view our recent case results to explore our litigation history. For example, in 2016, we filed a car accident lawsuit on behalf of an individual killed in a trucking accident. The deceased left behind a young adult and a minor child.

Our North Carolina car accident lawyers immediately initiated a full investigation to hold the responsible party accountable for the death. We were able to secure $2.25 million for the decedent’s family (see disclaimer below). In addition, we assisted the family with estate issues and advised on adoption procedures for the minor child. Although no amount of money can bring a lost loved one back, we take pride in helping the family obtain justice.

Contact Our Experienced North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers

Have you been injured in a car accident that was potentially caused by the other driver falling asleep at the wheel? A North Carolina car accident attorney at Riddle & Brantley may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other losses.

We take a compassionate, results-oriented approach to car accident cases to secure money for you as quickly as possible. The consultation is always free, and you will never pay attorney fees unless we secure compensation on your behalf.

I cannot give enough praise and positive comments about Riddle & Brantley.

 –Melissa T., Riddle & Brantley client

We believe that Justice Counts for all North Carolinians.


Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.