How to Spot a Fatigued DriverBy Stewart J. Guss on September 27th, 2018
Driving safely demands that motorists remain clear-headed and ready to take on the immense responsibility inherent to driving. Fatigued drivers are incapable of shouldering this responsibility—they can’t quickly and safely respond to the constantly changing hazards on the road. A sleep deficit of just a few hours can prove dangerous to everyone.
Car accidents often result in both serious damage and exorbitant expenses. If a fatigued driver hurt you or someone you care about in a car accident, don’t face the injuries and bills by yourself. The experienced car accident lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, care about you. We won’t leave your future to chance or to the insurance company’s discretion—we will fight for the justice you deserve! Contact the committed legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
Driving Under the Influence of Exhaustion
Research out of the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that drowsy drivers are twice as likely as well-rested drivers to make critical driving errors that can lead to dangerous traffic accidents. What’s even more significant is that drivers don’t have to be nodding off behind the wheel to be dangerous on the road—simply driving with too few hours of sleep under one’s belt can significantly diminish a motorist’s ability to drive safely:
- Decreased alertness
- Increased reaction times
- Clouded judgment and impaired decision making
- Increased distraction
Driving while drowsy is dangerous driving. Don’t get behind the wheel of your car unless you’re well rested and ready to take on the outsized responsibility of helping to keep our roadways safer for everyone on them.
Sleepy Drivers: What to Look For
When you head out in your car, driving safely is naturally your top priority. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that not all drivers share your safety concerns. Fatigued drivers are out there, and they make our roadways more dangerous for everyone who travels on them. When it comes to drowsy driving, several distinctive warning signs include:
- A motorist who slowly drifts or who swerves in and out of the driving lane
- A motorist who erratically speeds up and slows down
- A motorist who speeds excessively
- A motorist who overcorrects or repeatedly corrects for driving errors
If you witness another driver exhibiting any of these dangerous warning signs of exhausted driving, allow that driver a wide berth as quickly as you can. If you believe that the driver represents a serious danger, contact the authorities as soon as it’s safe to do so. You could help save a life.
Fatigued Drivers: The Statistics
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers who short themselves one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep during any given 24-hour stretch are almost twice as likely to be involved in car accidents. Further, this report relays that 35 percent of drivers in the United States get fewer than the recommended seven hours of shuteye each day—this includes 12 percent who get fewer than four hours of daily sleep. AAA reports that more than 20 percent of all fatal traffic accidents involve fatigued driving and that driving after missing two to three hours of sleep is tantamount to driving drunk. Even driving with fewer hours of sleep than is normal for you—no matter what that number is—can have significant negative effects on your ability to drive safely. These are grim statistics that highlight just how important adequate sleep is to safe driving.
Sleep: Getting It Right
How much sleep qualifies as enough sleep? That’s a great question, but luckily that same AAA report shares expert opinions—including those at the National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine & Sleep Research Society—on the subject:
- Healthy adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each day.
- Teens, young adults, those who are ill, and those who are recovering from a sleep deficit likely require more than seven to nine hours of sleep each day.
Ultimately, drivers who normally sleep only four to five hours each day have an accident rate that is 5.4 times higher than drivers who get in seven or more hours of daily sleep.
Peak Crash Periods
The NHTSA study reports that, while sleepiness can strike at any hour, traffic accidents caused by drowsy drivers occur most often during the hours between midnight and 6 a.m. and the late afternoon. These hours coincide with dips in our internal clocks that regulate sleep—our circadian rhythms.
If a fatigued driver has injured you, your claim will likely funnel through the insurance company involved. While car accidents are extremely stressful and you may not be sure about where to turn for help, don’t be tempted to allow the insurance company to calculate your losses and compensate you accordingly. Insurance companies are in the business of turning massive profits, and this includes minimizing settlements by whatever means possible. Car accidents often result in substantial expenses, including property damage to your vehicle, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. An experienced car accident law firm will fight for your rights and help ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
If a Fatigued Driver Left You Injured, Contact a Car Accident Law Firm Today
Fatigued drivers endanger everyone with whom they share the road. If a drowsy driver has injured you, the dedicated legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, has the experience, skill, and compassion to help guide your claim toward its most positive resolution.
Our nationally recognized car accident attorneys and legal professionals have fought for the rights of car accident victims for decades, and we’re here to help. Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.