The Dangers of Driving While Drowsy

Jan 24, 2020 | Firm News

Each year, there are approximately 3,000 fatalities caused by Florida car accidents. As traffic increases in our local community, the roads become more dangerous to navigate. In fact, Florida is listed as second among all 50 states for the number of car accidents caused by careless driving. While careless driving encompasses a number of poor driving behavior, it includes distracted driving and fatigued driving.These two categories consist of the bulk of Florida car accidents, with speeding and drunk driving rounding out the other major causes.

All Florida motorists have a duty with those whom they share the road to operate their vehicle in a safe and responsible manner. The decisions that a driver makes behind the wheel are equally as important as the decision the driver makes to get behind the wheel at all, especially while they are feeling fatigued. Studies show that there are a myriad of hazards associated with fatigued driving. Drivers who are fatigued are likely to have an increased reaction time as a result of being tired. For example, the amount of time necessary to brake and stop a vehicle traveling at 40 mph. Fatigued drivers may also exhibit difficulty exercising sound judgment. As a driver becomes increasingly tired, they think about their actions less. Inevitably, this leads to more motor vehicle accidents occurring as a result. Accordingly, drivers who experience sore or heavy eyes, frequent yawning, loss of motivation, and lack of concentration should make the choice not to drive.

Recently, several passengers were hospitalized as a result of their driver crashing an SUV head-on into a cement barrier at a Florida toll booth located on the Florida Turnpike near St. Cloud in Osceola County. A surveillance camera caught the accident on tape. It showed that the SUV was approaching the toll booth at a high speed, crashed through warning cones in front of the booth, and then collided head-on with the cement barrier that divided two of the lanes. All people inside of the SUV survived the accident with varying injuries. In a post-accident investigation, it was determined that the cause of the accident was driver fatigue.

The only way to address fatigue is by sleeping. Make the choice not to drive if you are feeling tired. If you are planning on heading off on a long road trip, make sure that you get a good night’s sleep beforehand. It is not advisable to travel for more than eight to ten hours a day without taking a break. In fact, it is recommended that you take breaks from driving at least every 2 hours. If possible, share the responsibility of driving with your passengers. Additionally, you should not travel during times that you would normally be sleeping. If you feel yourself becoming drowsy, take a 15 minute power nap before continuing to drive.

If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The knowledgeable attorneys at Wittmer|Linehan are available to help you obtain fair compensation from those responsible for your injuries.