Driving while drowsy or fatigued is a major hazard on roads and highways throughout Louisiana and across our nation. If a drowsy driver causes an accident, he or she may appear to be wide awake after the accident even though moments prior he or she was too sleepy or tired to safely operate a vehicle. Driving while fatigued leads to slower reaction times, restricted awareness, and inhibited judgment, all of which can increase the risk of causing a crash.
If a truck driver or other driver chose to remain behind the wheel even though they were too tired to operate a vehicle safely and caused an accident, they can be held accountable for the damages and injuries that they cause. A Lafayette fatigue lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help you if you were struck by a fatigued driver. Please call us at (337) 777-7777 for a free and confidential case consultation.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were about 91,000 crashes in the United States that involved some form or degree of drowsy driving in 2017. This figure is based on police and hospital reports. These crashes resulted in roughly 50,000 injuries and nearly 800 deaths. Many drowsy driving accidents go unreported or are not classified as drowsy driving, so these figures are likely to be underestimated.
Sleepiness and fatigue can cause an accident at any time, whether in the day or at night, but the three factors below are commonly seen in drowsy driving accidents.
- They tend to occur between midnight and 6 a.m. or in the late afternoon. These are the times of the day at which dips occur in our natural internal clocks—the circadian rhythm that regulates sleep.
- They usually involve just the driver with no passengers and can be identified by a vehicle running off the road at considerable speed with no indications of braking. This usually points to the fact that the driver did not catch themselves going off-road.
- They usually occur on rural roads and highways. Poor lighting and long, uneventful stretches of road may contribute to sleepiness while driving on such roads.
For a free legal consultation with a fatigue accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
What to Do After a Drowsy Driving Accident
If you were involved in a drowsy driving accident, you should take steps to secure your physical wellbeing before doing anything else. Once you are safe:
- If you are not seriously injured and it is safe to do so, tend to others involved in the accident
- Do not move anyone who cannot move themselves
- Be aware of other vehicles on the road
- Call 911
- Do not leave the scene until medical and law enforcement personnel have arrived
- Do not give statements or sign anything until you have reached out to a lawyer
- Gather whatever evidence you can from the scene, such as witness statements and pictures or videos of skid marks and vehicle damage
- Take notes of anything you remember about the accident or how it was caused
To help you build a case, we will gather additional data and proof about your accident in addition to the above, including:
- Event data recorder or EDR data to prove that the other driver did not brake
- Timestamps on text messages, social media posts, phone calls, or online purchases to prove extensive activity by the driver before getting behind the wheel—this can prove limited time to rest and hence prove drowsy driving
- School or work attendance records
- Prescription details for medications that may cause drowsiness
- If the accident involved a truck, information regarding how long the driver had been on the road and whether they had received enough rest before driving to be behind the wheel safely
Once we have all of the above, a Lafayette fatigue lawyer from our team will be in a position to quantify your damages, including lost income, vehicle damage, and bodily injury damages so that we can put together a damages claim and issue that against the at-fault driver responsible for causing your accident. We have the experience and knowledge needed to complete these formalities on your behalf to the letter of the law. Call (337) 777-7777 today for your free consultation.
Lafayette Fatigue Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Avoiding Fatigued Driving
We know that driving while drowsy or fatigued is dangerous and that it can lead to serious accidents, but why do so many people get behind the wheel while tired? There are many possible answers to this, including:
- Many people do not realize they are tired
- Many jobs such as trucking and medical services push their workers to perform over long hours with little rest
- Some drivers may not realize that the medications they are taking can cause drowsiness
- Poor planning can lead to situations in which someone is forced to drive while tired
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic tiredness is a public health issue that does not have a one-off solution. We must educate ourselves about the causes and the risks of drowsy driving if we are to reduce the incidence rates of such accidents.
How can we prevent drowsy driving accidents? Here are a few suggestions.
- Get adequate sleep regularly
- Before starting a long trip, make sure to get a good night’s sleep
- Designate a passenger to watch for drowsy driving
- Some teens who do not get enough sleep can become vulnerable to becoming drowsy while driving
- Never drive after consuming alcohol, however little
- Avoid driving during peak sleepiness hours
- Pull over if you must as soon as you catch yourself becoming uncontrollably sleepy
Damages and Legal Action
Depending on the causes and the severity of your accident, you may be entitled to damages that include coverage for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Future care costs
- Surgery and therapy costs
- Property and vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
- Damages for scars or disabilities
- Wrongful death if the accident resulted in the death of a loved one
Statutes of limitation apply to civil suits—this includes lawsuits against drowsy drivers. We are here to help you handle the injuries and damages that a drowsy driver caused you, so contact us today at (337) 777-7777. The Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers group helps victims such as yourself understand the law, protect your rights, and ensure that you seek the maximum damages you may be entitled to according to the laws that pertain to your case. Call now for a free case evaluation and learn more about how a Lafayette fatigue lawyer may be able to help you.