Car accidents involving a driver who falls asleep at the wheel cause many injuries and deaths in the United States every year. Recently, a driver was sent to the hospital after falling asleep at the wheel. When he fell asleep, his minivan veered off the road and collided with a utility pole. The van flipped onto its side and slid into a ditch. Many single-vehicle accidents are caused by driver fatigue or drivers falling asleep. When fatigued drivers collide with another vehicle or multiple vehicles, the risk of injury and death increases.Understanding the Dangers of Driver Fatigue in Charlotte
Researchers have determined that driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drowsiness causes impairment for drivers, making it difficult for them to react quickly to dangerous conditions on the road. Unfortunately, drivers are more tired and stressed than ever. It is easy for drivers to overlook the danger associated with getting behind the wheel while they are tired or fatigued.
According to the national highway traffic safety administration, there was an estimated average of 83,000 car accidents related to drowsy driving each year between 2005 and 2009. Researchers found that drowsy driving causes an average of over 37,000 injuries and 886 deaths in motor vehicle collisions every year.
These numbers are likely too low. Many drivers involved in a car accident will not admit that they were driving while drowsy. Additionally, crash investigators off and look for clues that one of the drivers was drowsy or tired and the drowsiness contributed to the accident. However, these types of clues are not always conclusive or available in investigations.
The AAA Foundation for traffic safety analyzed the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data. They determined that approximately 7% of all motor vehicle collisions and 16.5% of all deadly crashes involve some type of drowsy driving. They also estimated that over 5,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving drowsy driving last year.The Causes of Drowsy Driving
Anytime a driver does not get enough sleep the night before or uses medication that causes drowsiness, car accidents can result. Sometimes sleep disorders cause drowsy driving. Or a driver who works the night shift or irregular hours may become fatigued while driving. Additionally, drivers who consumed alcohol or drugs may be more likely to become fatigued and cause a dangerous car accident.Who is at Risk of Drowsy Driving Injuries?
Drowsy driving accidents can happen to anyone in any location. However, some groups are at a greater risk of becoming injured due to fatigued driving. The following groups of people are more likely to be involved in fatigued driving accidents in Charlotte:
- Young men between the ages of 17 and 23
- Those who work overnight shifts
- Those who work long shifts
- People who get less than six hours of sleep every night
- People who suffer from untreated sleep disorders, including sleep apnea
Have you or your loved one been injured by a fatigued driver in the Charlotte area? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In many cases, drowsy drivers completely fall asleep, causing them to totally lose control of their vehicles. When a driver completely loses control of his or her vehicle, the possibility of causing severe injuries increases. Even if you are one of the safest drivers on the road, there is nothing you can do to prevent a drowsy driver from veering over into your lane and colliding with your vehicle.
Those who become severely injured in drowsy driving accidents often require extensive medical treatment. You may be concerned about how you will pay your extensive medical bills while recovering from your drowsy driving accident. One of the best ways to recover compensation is by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Under North Carolina law, a victim can bring a lawsuit against the drowsy driver, claiming that their negligence caused the accident that resulted in their injuries. When the drowsy driver was driving for work, such as a driver working for a commercial trucking company, the victim may be able to sue the employer for negligent hiring practices.Contact a Charlotte Drowsy Driving Lawyer Today
A successful plaintiff can recover economic damages for their past and future medical bills and past and future lost income. They can also recover compensation for property damage, and for their pain and suffering. Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn how we can fight for your rights.