Drowsy Driving Accidents
Drowsy driving is epidemic on North Texas roadways and throughout the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving is the cause of more than 100,000 auto accidents, 1,550 fatalities, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in damages every year. Sixty percent of motorists have driven despite being too tired to do so safely and 33 percent have actually fallen asleep at the wheel.
Unfortunately, many drivers have the attitude that being tired is normal. This is not the case. Berenson Injury Law has recovered large settlements against negligent drivers whose sleeplessness caused a wreck, including in 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles. Attorney Berenson is a Texas Board of Legal Specialization Certified Personal Injury Lawyer with close to 40 years of experience. He is known for thinking outside the box to maximize damages recovery in complicated Dallas-Fort Worth automobile accident claims. If you were injured by a tired driver who should not have been on the road, we can help you pursue your rightful damages.How Sleep Deprivation Affects Drivers
In our fast-paced culture, sleep often takes the back seat to work, studies, family and entertainment. As a result people may feel perpetually tired, a situation that sounds harmless, but is actually a serious driving risk.
Sleep deprivation affects the body similarly to alcohol. In fact, 24 hours without sleep equals a blood alcohol concentration of .10 percent, well over the legal limit to drive. Therefore, driving to work after a sleepless night carries similar risks to drunk driving. Impairments caused by sleep deprivation include:
- Difficulty paying attention
- Inability to make quick decisions
- Slowed reaction time
- Lane drift
- Visual disturbances
- Nodding off at the wheel
Although sleep deprivation is clearly a substantial accident risk factor, a dangerous level of sleepiness is difficult to quantify. Whereas the Breathalyzer measures BAC and tests have established a permissible level of intoxication, no such measurements and tests exist in regards to fatigue. We, therefore, rely upon crucial circumstantial evidence to prove the driver was too tired to drive.Investigating Fatigue as a Factor in a Crash
Hours of service rules govern the number of hours commercial truck drivers are allowed to work and drive and how long they are required to rest between shifts. When investigating an accident involving an 18-wheeler, we subpoena the driver’s logbooks and work records to determine whether he complied with the HOS regulations. This data provides a good basis upon which to build a fatigued driver case against the truck driver and his employer. The unlawful violation of HOS rules is negligence per se, which shifts the burden of proof to the defendants.
Motorists are not restricted on the number of hours they can drive or how much they must sleep. Furthermore, motorists do not log their hours in a book or on an electronic system. However, drowsy motorists may be liable for knowingly driving while in a compromised condition.
Our lawyer gathers crucial evidence of sleep deprivation by piecing together the events of the hours and days before the crash. For example, we consider evidence that the driver worked the night shift or pulled an all-nighter to study for an exam. Likewise, we consider the distance a motorist has travelled on a long road trip without breaks. We piece the case together through witness testimony, employment data, phone records, receipts, Fitbits and other indications of wakefulness throughout the prior 24 hours and week. We then call on experts to testify how the lack of sleep would have adversely affected the driver.Learn More About Recovering Damages from the Exhausted Driver Who Ran into You
Was the driver who ran into you too tired to safely be on the road? This is a question we answer during our detailed investigation of your claim to recover your rightful compensation. Schedule a free consultation with our Dallas-Fort Worth attorney to discuss your drowsy driving accident claim. Call our office at 817-885-8000 or fill out our online appointment form today. Berenson Injury Law handles your claim on a contingency basis which means no recovery, no fees or expenses.