If you’ve ever been behind the wheel while feeling drowsy, you’re not alone. The Washington Post reported that 45% of Americans admit to driving while drowsy. Driving tired may seem harmless, but it’s extremely dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 795 people died in 2017 because of drowsy driving. However, there are ways to prevent drowsy driving, such as switching drivers and ensuring you’re adequately rested before driving.
Being involved in an accident caused by a drowsy driver can be challenging. Consider reaching out to Attorney Robert Baker of Baker Legal Team. He’s a former prosecutor with proven results of obtaining maximum compensation for his clients.
Why Is Driving While Tired Such a Problem?
Almost anyone can cause a car accident because they’re too tired to drive. Young adults, particularly those between the ages of 16 to 29, and shift workers who work long or irregular hours, are the most common perpetrators of these accidents. Truck drivers and jet-lagged travelers also put themselves at risk for drowsy driving.
Many things can cause drowsy driving, including:
- Sleep loss and sleep disorders
- Driving for a long time without a break
- Sedating medications
If a driver is going 60 mph, they’re traveling about a basketball court’s length per second. Closing your eyes for even a second can prove deadly.
How to Prove Someone was Drowsy Driving
While attorneys can use car accident reports, cell phone records, and witness testimony, it may be difficult to prove the other driver was driving while tired. Drowsy driving can be considered negligent if the individual was sleep-deprived and knew that before getting behind the wheel. Florida is one of several states where drowsiness has been cited in criminal cases involving a vehicle accident death.
One of the most common signs of a drowsy driver is their lack of braking or swerving into another lane. However, if the other party is a trucker, your attorney may be able to look at their sleep logs to prove your case.
Drowsy Driving Has the Same Effects as Drunk Driving
Drowsy driving is dangerous because it can have the same effect as drinking alcohol. Being awake for 18 hours straight makes you drive as if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .05%. If you’re awake for 24 straight hours, it’s like a BAC of .10%. Florida law states that anyone with a BAC over .08% is considered drunk, or .02% for those under 21.
Like drunk driving, drowsy driving makes it hard to pay attention to the road, and it can negatively impact how you make decisions. A drunk driver can often drive slowly and attempt to be hyper aware of road changes, but a drowsy driver risks falling asleep behind the wheel.
Prioritize Your Sleep
Getting enough sleep is the top way to reduce your chance of causing an accident because you were tired. Sleep not only helps your overall health but also reduces risks on the road. Whether you commute by car every day or have a road trip coming up, keep these sleep tips in mind:
- Adults should get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night
- If you miss out on an hour of sleep one night, sleep for an extra hour the next night
- Ensure you’re getting at least eight hours of sleep a week before a long car ride
If you think your lack of sleep will affect your driving, take action in advance. Opt for public transportation or ask a friend to drive with you. If you must drive and cannot bring someone else, consider pulling off at rest stops every few hours to take a short nap.
Contact a Skilled Auto Accident Attorney in South Florida
At Baker Legal Team, we understand how daunting the consequences of a car accident can feel. When working with us, you can be confident we’ll work tirelessly to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions, and we promise to protect your rights and fight for you. You deserve to be backed by a firm with experience, success, and a commitment to justice.
Work one-on-one with Board-Certified Attorney Robert Baker to have all your legal questions answered. With over 30 years of experience, Attorney Baker knows how to create a winning strategy specifically for your case.
Call (561) 320-0000 or complete an online contact form to schedule your free consultation.