According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, 60% of adult drivers ( about 168 million people) said they had driven a vehicle while feeling sleepy in the past year, and more than 1/3, (37% or 103 million people), have actually fallen asleep while driving!
The Cost of Drowsy Driving
People don’t think of drowsy driving the same way that they think of drunk driving, but they should. Did you know that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year? That results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses caused by drowsy or sleepy drivers.
Drowsy driving incidents could result in jail time for the driver. Large settlements have been awarded to families of crash victims as a result of lawsuits filed against drivers and companies whose employees were involved in drowsy driving crashes.
Is drowsy driving negligence?
Most likely, yes. Negligence is the failure to use ordinary or reasonable care. It is either doing something that a reasonably careful person would not do, or the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do.
Sleep deprivation and fatigue make lapses of attention more likely to occur, and may play a role in behavior that can lead to crashes attributed to other causes.
What should I do if I think I was injured by a drowsy driver?
If you are injured in a car accident and you think the other driver was falling asleep or drowsy, you should speak with a Memphis TN personal injury lawyer. The way your claim is presented will be important. Before you forget, write down everything that makes you think the other driver was drowsy or falling asleep. If the other driver mentioned being tired, or not having enough sleep, make a note of exactly what he or she said. Details are important and admissions made by the other driver can be used to negotiate a settlement with his or her insurance company.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Lang Wiseman of Wiseman Bray PLLC, who has significant experience fighting for car accident victims in Tennessee.