Drowsy Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or disabled in a Washington car accident caused by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel, you may have legal questions. The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue personal injury legal practice, may be of assistance to you.Accidents Caused by Drowsy Drivers
One of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents is drivers who are so fatigued and sleep deprived that they are driving drowsy or drivers fall asleep at the wheel and cause an auto accident.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that every year 100,000 motor vehicle accidents are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel, and 4% of all fatal car accidents are caused by drowsy drivers. These accidents result in nearly 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 injuries per year.Drowsy Driving Statistics
According to the Sleep Medicine division at Harvard Medical School, approximately 250,000 drivers each day fall asleep while driving. One national poll revealed that 54% of adult drivers admit driving while sleep fatigued, and 28% admit to falling asleep at the wheel at least once.Effects of Drowsy Driving
The effects of driving while drowsy are very similar todriving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, one study found that driving after being awake for 17 to 18 hours is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.05%.
Sleep deprivation is known to:
- Impair coordination
- Slow reaction times
- Impair judgment
- Decrease vision
Drowsy driving in the trucking industry is a problem that the government tries to solve by placing limits on how long a trucker can drive in a day. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration finds that many semi truck accidents are caused by sleep deprivation. One survey found that 47.1% of long haul truck drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel on one occasion.
Professional drivers are affected by driving schedules and workload. Commercial drivers (CDL) are the largest at-risk group for sleep-related motor vehicle accidents, and working the night shift, long work schedules and other problems such as sleep apnea can increase the likelihood of a sleep-related trucking accident. Semi truck drivers are allowed by law to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch or up to 77 hours in a 7 day period. Some drivers and companies violate work restriction regulations and operate longer than is permitted.
Drowsy semi truck drivers should be a concern for all; when a 10,000 pound 18-wheeler is involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle, the occupants of the car will most likely be the ones seriously injured, disabled or killed. In fact, in 98% of the semi-truck vs. passenger vehicle accidents in which there is a death, the person killed was in the passenger vehicle.Your Rights
If you were seriously injured or have had a loved one killed due to a motor vehicle accident in which drowsy driving, sleep deprivation, or falling asleep at the wheel was a factor, you may be entitled to file a claim for your damages. If a professional driver was involved, you may have a claim against the driver's employer.Contact a Drowsy Driver Car Accident Attorney
The Farber Law Group has more than 30 years experience representing the rights of those seriously injured in motor vehicles and prosecuting the wrongful death claims of the families who loved one has been killed. Call us TOLL FREE at (800) 244-9087 or use our Contact Form. We will provide you with a Free, Confidential, No Pressure consultation and begin to answer your questions.