Getting behind the wheel to drive when you are tired is not just risky. It can lead to a serious or even fatal crash. Unfortunately, too many people do just that. Hundreds of thousands of drowsy driving crashes happen every year.
If you were injured because another driver was impaired by fatigue, you may be eligible to seek significant compensation for your damages. However, proving the at-fault driver was drowsy is challenging and best handled by a qualified lawyer.
Contact Jay Trucks to discuss your situation and potential legal options in a completely free case review. We know what evidence to look for after a drowsy driving crash and how to build a strong case on your behalf. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay up front.
Ask for your FREE case review now. (989) 244-0440
What Makes Drowsy Driving So Dangerous?
Continuing to drive while you are drowsy could lead to a serious rollover, head-on collision or multi-car crash. It is very common for a driver who nods off at the wheel to end up in oncoming traffic. Driving drowsy also affects your ability to safely operate a vehicle by:
- Slowing your reaction time – such as braking to avoid a crash
- Impairing your ability to see properly or causing blurry vision
- Impacting your ability to make decisions
- Lessens or totally impedes your sense of awareness and makes you less alert
How Can You Be Sure You Are Too Tired to Drive?
If you are tired and trying to decide whether you should or should not drive, it is typically better to err on the side of caution. Sometimes, however, you may feel fine when you initially get behind the wheel. If you start to feel tired on the road, some warning signs that you should not be driving include:
- Constantly yawning
- Blinking your eyes repeatedly
- Feeling like you might nod off
- Missing your exits
- Not being aware of the last few minutes or miles you drove
- Hitting the rumble strip
- Having trouble staying in your lane
- Struggling to keep a safe distance from other vehicles
- Having difficulties maintaining consistent speed
- Swerving out of your lane
If you experience any of these warning signs, it is best to get off the road immediately. Find a safe rest area, gas station or parking lot where you can nap for 20 to 30 minutes.
Who May Be More Likely to Be Drowsy While Driving?
Anyone who is unable to get regular restful sleep may be impacted on occasion. However, there are other situations that make people more likely to be drowsy behind the wheel on a regular basis, including:
- Anyone that works alternative shifts or during late night hours
- Commercial vehicle operators, such as drivers of trucks, buses or delivery vehicles
- Those who suffer from sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, especially when untreated
- Drivers who frequently stay up late and do not make time to sleep properly
- People who take prescription or over-the-counter medications that make them drowsy
Even getting behind the wheel one time when you are over tired, fatigued or drowsy can lead to a serious crash. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that teens, who are still growing and developing need eight hours or more of rest. Adults need at least seven hours of sleep, but more is better.
What Evidence May Help Prove Liability for a Drowsy Driving Crash?
It can be extremely difficult to find proof of a drowsy driving crash on your own. However, a qualified attorney knows what to look for and how to gather that evidence. Our experienced auto accident lawyers in Grand Rapids are ready to help.
There are many types of evidence that may help to support a drowsy driving claim, including:
- No skid marks at the crash scene: Images from the crash scene showing a lack skid marks often shows a drowsy driver who made no attempt to brake.
- Medical records: This documentation may provide evidence of a driver who suffered from sleep apnea, insomnia or another sleep disorder.
- Prescription records: It may be possible to obtain prescription records showing a driver took medication that made him or her sleepy.
- Cellphone records/social media history: A driver’s cellphone or social media history would need to be subpoenaed but could help to prove whether a driver had been awake for many hours.
- Witnesses: Sometimes there may be witnesses who observed a driver nodding off at the wheel before the crash.
- Traffic or dash cam footage: While it is harder to get this type of footage, it can be useful as evidence when it is available.
- Vehicle event data recorder (EDR): Data from the at-fault driver’s vehicle could reveal the speed at impact and whether he or she tried to brake.
Injured By a Drowsy Driver? Call Our Trusted Law Firm for Help
If you were injured in a crash caused by a drowsy driver, you may benefit from having a qualified attorney on your side.
At Jay Trucks, we have decades of experience helping the injured, and we are dedicated to holding at-fault parties accountable for their negligent actions. Our firm has recovered millions in compensation for our clients.
Call our law offices today to learn more. We have staff available 24/7 to take your call. If we represent you, there are no upfront costs or fees to pay. We do not get paid unless you do.
Local Lawyers. Proven Results. (989) 244-0440