Drowsy driving is a pervasive problem in Florida. Many drivers get behind the wheel when they are tired. When people drive while they are drowsy, they place themselves and others around them at risk. Drowsy driving is much more dangerous than people might realize.
According to the National Safety Council, 20% of drivers admit that they have fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in the past year. More than 40% of drivers admit that they have fallen asleep while driving at least once during their driving years. In 2015, the Governors Highway Safety Association says that an estimated 5,000 people were killed in crashes involving drowsy drivers.
In addition to falling asleep behind the wheel, drowsy driving also impairs a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Drowsy drivers have slowed reaction times and a reduced ability to perceive hazards. When someone drives after being awake for 20 hours, his or her driving is impaired to the same extent as someone who drives while having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. People who drive while they are tired are three times likelier to be involved in collisions. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that an estimated 328,000 accidents happen in the U.S. each year because of drowsy driving.
People who believe that they were injured in automobile accidents that were caused by drowsy drivers may want to schedule consultations with experienced personal injury attorneys. A lawyer might investigate a case and collect evidence demonstrating that the driver was drowsy and caused the accident. By filing a lawsuit against a drowsy driver, an injured victim may be able to hold the driver accountable for his or her actions and recover damages to pay for the victim’s economic and noneconomic losses. An attorney may be able to secure a fair settlement or fight for his or her client through a trial and verdict.