Most drivers feel drowsy behind the wheel from time to time. Unfortunately, making a habit out of driving while fatigued can have severe and even deadly consequences. In 2013, drowsiness contributed to an estimated 72,000 crashes and 44,000 injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Up to 800 people died in those wrecks. According to the Sleep Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, these three factors play a role in most drowsy driving collisions:
- Driving Alone: People who drive without passengers are at a higher risk of falling asleep compared to those who drive with company;
- Driving at the Wrong Time of Day: Driving at night or when you would normally sleep can make you feel drowsy behind the wheel; and
- Slow Reaction Times Due to Fatigue: Braking too late can lead to a rear-end accident, and if you’re not alert, you might crash into a fixed object in the road.
If you were injured by a drowsy, drunk or negligent driver in Alabama, turn to Morris Bart & Associates, LLC. A personal injury attorney in Birmingham will help you claim compensation for health-care bills, lost income and non-economic damages. Our legal team will help you pursue the highest possible settlement, and if your case goes to trial, we have the litigation experience to find success in court. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation.
Are You at Risk of Falling Asleep behind the Wheel?
Although nobody is immune to drowsiness, there are risk factors that make certain people more likely to drive while fatigued. You may be at risk if you:
- Drive for long hours for business purposes;
- Are regularly expected to drive through the night for work;
- Have an untreated sleeping disorder;
- Are on medication that causes drowsiness; or
- Regularly consume alcohol.
How to Avoid Drowsy Driving Accidents
Fortunately, careful planning will help you reduce your risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Here are four tips to help you avoid drowsy driving accidents:
- Get plenty of rest – you need at least seven hours of sleep to stay alert while driving;
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule;
- Visit a doctor if you have sleep problems or feel abnormally fatigued during the day; and
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any over-the-counter or prescription medications, or supplements, you are taking cause drowsiness.
Sadly, even the safest drivers cannot control the actions of other motorists. If you were hit by a drowsy or otherwise negligent driver in Alabama, contact Morris Bart & Associates, LLC. An accident lawyer in Birmingham will gather evidence, interview witnesses, evaluate the police report and doctors’ records, calculate your damages, and help you pursue the highest possible settlement. Your attorney also will help you avoid mistakes such as signing a general release or unknowingly admitting fault to insurance adjusters. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation.