Certain factors may make it more likely that a motor vehicle collision will occur, including the negligent decisions of a driver. A driver is responsible for the choices he or she makes while behind the wheel, including choosing to drive while fatigued. There are times when fatigue makes a driver too tired to safely operate a vehicle — a fact underscored by the number of serious accidents caused by drowsy driving.
Most Texas drivers feel tired from time to time, but there is a distinct difference between being a little sleepy and fatigued to the point where it affects cognition and physical reactions. A fatigued driver may overlook the serious risks he or she is taking while driving in that state, and the end result could be an accident that leaves innocent people with serious injuries. It is possible a fatigued driver caused the accident that resulted in your physical pain, emotional duress and financial loss.
The dangers of fatigue
You are probably aware of the risks associated with distracted driving and drunk driving, but you may not give much thought to how fatigue could lead to an accident. Statistics from the National Safety Council reveal that drowsy driving could be a more serious problem than many think. Consider the following facts about this potential problem:
- According to the NSC, drowsy driving accounts for approximately 100,000 accidents each year. It also accounts for 71,000 injuries and more than 1,500 fatalities.
- Studies find that drowsiness contributes to approximately 9.5% of all crashes, and just over 10% of all crashes that resulted in the deployment of an airbag.
- There is evidence to suggest that drowsy driving can mimic drunk driving. Studies concluded that driving after 18 or more hours without sleep is like driving with a BAC of .05%.
Drowsy driving is a serious safety concern, but one often overlooked. One in 25 drivers admit to falling asleep while driving, and 27% of drivers have admitted to being so tired that they have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Who is responsible?
If fatigue played a role in the accident that left you injured, there are options available to you. Through the civil justice system, it may be possible to hold liable parties accountable for their negligent actions. An assessment of the accident could reveal what factors played a role in what happened to you and how you can seek a full and fair recovery.