A 2009 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that 1.9 million motorists had been involved in a collision or a near-crash due to driver fatigue. In addition, 54 percent of drivers reported driving drowsy at least once and 28 percent of drivers admitted to operating a motor vehicle while sleepy at least once a month.
Each year, numerous accidents in Arizona are caused by drowsy driving. If you have been injured in a vehicle crash due to a tired driver, you may be eligible for legal recourse. For additional information about driver fatigue accidents, fill out the contact form on this page.
Risks of Drowsy Driving
Many motorists don't realize that getting behind the wheel while fatigued is very dangerous, drowsy driving can have serious and deadly repercussions. It only takes a takes a few seconds of inattentiveness for a crash to occur.
Researchers have found that being awake for 20 hours is equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, the legal limit in all 50 states. Similar to an inebriated driver, a fatigued motorist has a slower reaction time and a decreased awareness. However, a driver that falls asleep at the wheel doesn't have the chance to take the necessary actions to avoid a crash.
Signs of Driver Fatigue
You may have driver fatigue if you experience any of the symptoms below:
- Difficulty keeping your head up
- Yawning excessively
- Heavy eyelids or frequently blinking
- Drifting in and out of your lane or swerving
- The inability to recall the last few miles driven
- Feeling restless or irritable
If you are on the road and experience any of these symptoms, it is advised that you pull over at a safe location and get some rest.
There are precautions that motorists can take to prevent fatigued driving crashes. Arizona drivers should follow these tips to make sure that they reach their destination safely:
- Make sure to get a good nights rest before getting on the road. The majority of adults need seven to nine hours of sleep be alert.
- If you are going to be traveling on the road for a long period of time, its best to bring along another passenger. Your passenger can help you take turns driving.
- Avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages or taking any medications that will make you drowsy while operating a motor vehicle.
- If you are feeling exhausted, pull over at a rest stop or a safe location to take a nap. A quick nap can help you feel rejuvenated, so you'll be ready to hit the road again.
- When going on a road trip, you should pack a cooler with caffeinated beverages. However, it's important for Arizona drivers to know that caffeine does not replace a good nights sleep. Caffeinated drinks will only provide a temporary relief.
- Motorists should stop and stretch every 2 hours or 100 miles. Frequent breaks can prevent driver fatigue.
- Always allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination safely.
Contact a Phoenix Injury Lawyer
Certain occupations are at risk for being involved in drowsy driving accidents such as commercial truck drivers, night-shift workers, pilots, nurses, doctors, and sales representatives. These jobs can force employees to work long, odd hours, causing them to be on the road at times when their bodies are used to resting.
Every year, approximately 56,000 sleep-related crashes occur in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These accidents cause 40,000 injuries and 1,550 traffic fatalities.
If you or a family member has been involved in a drowsy driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Contact Phillips Law Group today to discuss your legal options. After hearing the details of your case, a Phoenix injury lawyer can advise you the best course of action to take.
To receive a Free Case Review, fill out the contact form on this page.