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Drowsy driving: sleepiness could be a threat to your health

When you think of the hazards and risks that threaten the well-being of Virginia drivers, exhaustion and tiredness may not make your list. However, one of the most significant problems across the country is drowsy driving, and sleep-related car crashes claim lives and cause significant injury every day.

A drowsy driver can be just as dangerous as a drunk or distracted driver. It does not take a driver actually falling asleep to cause an accident, but it is just as dangerous when a person is chronically fatigued or simply did not get enough sleep. Whatever the reason, if you believe that a person who was too tired to drive safely caused your accident, you have rights.

How tired is too tired? 

There is no set standard for being too tired. The point of exhaustion is different from person to person, yet drowsy driving is more of a problem for individuals who do the following:

  • Shift work
  • Consume alcohol frequently
  • Struggle with a sleep disorder
  • Take medications that can cause sleepiness 

A person may be unaware of his or her severe level of drowsiness, but every driver bears the responsibility of deciding if he or she would be a danger to themselves and others by getting behind the wheel and risking the chance of a crash.

The dangers of drowsy driving 

Drowsy driving is a threat to safety for many reasons, but perhaps the most dangerous is the fact that many people do not realize how risky it can be. Driving while tired can lead to the following:

  • Slower reaction times
  • Less attentive drivers
  • Inability to make good decisions

The Center for Disease Control estimates that one in 25 drivers has fallen asleep while driving. The numbers of accidents caused by a drowsy driver may actually be higher than estimated because it can be difficult to accurately determine a person's degree of drowsiness at the time of an accident.

Did a drowsy driver hurt you?

If you were hurt in a car accident, there is a chance that drowsy driving is to blame. You have the right to a full recovery when a negligent or reckless driver causes you harm, but you will benefit from the assistance of an experienced attorney as you file a civil claim for damages.

It can be a complex task to build a strong case after a tired-driving accident. Taking quick action after an accident to secure knowledgeable legal guidance can be a significant step toward preserving important evidence and ensuring the full protection of your rights.

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