The Dangers of Drowsy DrivingCentral New York Legal News
Drowsy driving has been known to reduce reaction time and awareness of other cars on the road, leading to thousands of car accidents and injuries. These accidents are common during late-night drives through intersections. Drivers who go without at least six hours of sleep a night and who drive longer than 12 hours are in danger of a drowsy driving accident. If you suffered personal injuries from a car accident, talk to a Central New York Personal Injury Attorney about your options for compensation.
Consequences of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving accidents led to 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries in one year; however, the numbers may be higher because these were only taken from 100,000 police reports. According to public reports, 20% of people say they fell asleep while driving and 40% said this happened during their driving job.
Accidents like these can lead to all kinds of injuries. Bone fractures, traumatic head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and whiplash are not uncommon. Accidents that involve more than one person can lead to lawsuits and financial problems. Determining who caused the accident can be difficult if drowsiness prevents a driver from remembering what happened, especially if that driver fell asleep at the wheel.
Studies show that the effects of 20 hours of sleep deprivation are equal to a 0.08% blood-alcohol concentration, which is the legal limit for driving. This means your attention, awareness of your surroundings, vision, and reaction time are hindered.
Common Causes and Solutions for Drowsy Driving
Sleep deprivation is not the only cause of drowsy driving, although it is common. Sleep disorders like narcolepsy can make people fall asleep during the day or at unexpected times without any kind of voluntary control. Certain medications, like antihistamines or painkillers, can cause drowsiness. Alcohol becomes a major cause when enough is consumed.
This is why it is crucial to read all medication labels before driving. Medications and prescriptions are required by law to warn consumers of drowsiness and will tell you whether you can drive or not. If a medication fails to warn you, the company could be sued for a product defect under product liability laws. Therefore, it is uncommon for medications to not warn people of driving risks.
Make sure you are at least experiencing six hours of sleep, but it is highly recommended that you receive between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Caffeine or energy drinks may be able to let you drive sleep deprived for a while, but when they wear off, extreme drowsiness can result. Use caffeine at your own risk while driving long hours.
If you feel drowsy at the wheel, pull over. You can also have someone else go with you so you can take turns driving.
New York Car Accidents Lawyer
You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress if you experienced a car accident caused by a negligent driver. A Watertown Car Accidents Attorney can help you collect the evidence for a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to compensate you.
At Gattuso & Ciotoli we have over 50 years of experience with personal injury cases. Call us at (315) 314-8000 today for a free consultation. We are located in Central New York, Syracuse, Watertown, Binghamton, Fayetteville, North Syracuse, Camillus, Liverpool, Cortland, and Auburn.