Fatigued driving is a common reason for people getting into car accidents. Their judgment and reaction times are impaired, and they may even doze off behind the wheel. Despite all the strategies a person can use to stay alert when there’s no way to avoid driving while fatigued, rear-end incidents and other collisions still happen. Someone who has been injured by a driver who should have been sleeping instead of traveling on the road may contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance.
Strategies to Stay Alert
People who don’t feel alert while driving could use tactics such as opening the vents and blowing cool air into the front seat, or turning up the radio or CD player to a loud volume and singing along. For the most tired drivers, however, these techniques may still not be effective. About 100,000 vehicle accidents occur annually due to drowsy drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Drowsy drivers are more likely to hit pedestrians or bicyclists they don’t see coming from one side or the other while attempting to cross a street, even when they have the “walk” signal. They are more likely to turn in front of an oncoming motorcyclist. They are more likely to rear-end a car ahead of them stopped at a traffic light. They may not even consciously register that a red light is not a stop sign, leading them to stop for a moment and then proceed through.
The situation can become especially dire when a driver actually falls asleep behind the wheel. The vehicle can drift into a different lane, which is especially dangerous on two-lane roads. Drivers sometimes are startled awake as their car leaves the road and hits a guardrail, median or the grass. They may overcorrect by jerking the steering wheel in the other direction to get back on the road and then hit a vehicle in that lane.
Personal injury attorneys help their clients obtain the financial compensation they deserve after being seriously hurt by a fatigued driver. Although they may have a long road of recovery ahead, knowing they will not have a financial struggle is a big relief.