There are a number of hazards which motorists face when they take to the road, and negligence on the part of other drivers can lead to dangerous accidents and serious injuries following car wrecks. Driver negligence can take many forms such as driving while intoxicated, texting while driving, or engaging in other behavior which distracts from the task of operating the vehicle, but driver fatigue is often overlooked as one of the more serious issues facing American motorists.
Drowsiness on the road dramatically diminishes driving skills, long before an individual actually falls asleep at the wheel. Reactions times diminish, situational awareness is negatively affected, and accidents become far more likely. Studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have identified young drivers, business travelers, and shift workers as the most at-risk groups for drowsy driving, as these groups tend to be on the road later and suffer from sleep deprivation more often.
The ultimate danger behind driver fatigue is the risk of a motorist falling asleep behind the wheel. Sleep related accidents tend to be especially dangerous and even deadly due to the driver’s inability to take any preventative action in the moments leading up to the crash, and NHTSA studies have shown that such accidents have the following impact each year:
* 100,000 crashes
* 1,500 deaths
* 71,000 injuries
* 12.5 billion in monetary damages
These estimates are conservative, and a lack of effective reporting techniques suggests that the magnitude of the problem may be much greater than they indicate. If you have been injured in a sleep-related accident, the medical expenses and other losses associated with the wreck can be devastating, and obtaining compensation from the responsible party may be difficult. Seeking the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer is often your best course of action in order to gain access to the compensation you are entitled to.