Many assume that drunk driving, texting behind the wheel, or speeding through traffic are some of the only ways someone can be injured. However, this is far from the truth, as one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving is done by those who get behind the wheel while exhausted. Unfortunately, the risks of drowsy driving are not talked about enough, and many choose to drive despite fighting sleep. If you’ve been injured by a drowsy driver, you’ll want to enlist the help of a Monroe, Louisiana car accident lawyer to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
What Are the Dangerous Associated With Drowsy Driving?
Many underestimate how dangerous driving while tired is. Unfortunately, this behavior is not talked about enough, meaning that many drivers are unaware of the risks associated with driving while exhausted.
If a driver doesn’t get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel, they are subject to falling asleep while driving, as the monotonous activity of traveling down a highway can increase the likelihood of sleep. Similarly, micro-sleeps are short periods in which a driver loses consciousness, posing a significantly risky situation, as drivers may not even realize that they fell asleep.
Those who fall asleep at the wheel are at a significantly increased risk of involvement in a car crash than alert drivers. This is because the ability of a sleep-deprived driver to react to hazards is compromised, and they are more likely to drift out of their lane when on a highway.
How Can Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel Be Avoided?
A significant part of preventing accidents caused by drowsy driving is recognizing the symptoms of falling asleep behind the wheel. For example, if you feel that you cannot keep your eyes open, your head feels heavy, you’re missing turns, or you cannot remember what happened in the past five minutes that you were driving, it’s best to pull over in a safe location to take a short nap to refresh yourself before you continue driving.
You should also get enough sleep to ensure that you feel well-rested and ready to take on a long drive. If possible, drinking a caffeinated drink, rolling down the windows to get fresh, cool air, and listening to upbeat music can also help prevent nodding off behind the wheel.
What Should I Do if I’m Injured by a Sleeping Driver?
Unfortunately, driving without sleeping in the past twenty hours is just as dangerous as driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, the legal intoxication limit. Though you may do everything possible to keep yourself safe and alert while driving, others behind the wheel may not offer the same courtesy. This, unfortunately, leaves you susceptible to injuries caused by others on the road.
If injured by a driver who fell asleep behind the wheel, ensuring you talk to witnesses who can attest that the other driver was sleeping in the moments leading up to the accident is essential to proving your case. If you have a dashboard camera, this can provide indisputable evidence that the driver was asleep.
You’ll also need to contact Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson, LLC to connect with a competent personal injury attorney to help represent you during your case. Call our office today to learn more about how we can help you.