Injured By A Driver Who Fell Asleep?
Health experts unanimously agree that most healthy adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep over a 24-hour period in order to function at their best. If a person does not get enough sleep or does not sleep for 24 hours or even a few days, multiple aspects of his or her health will be affected.
Sleep-deprived driving, also known as drowsy driving, is one of the worst mistakes people lacking sufficient sleep can make. Our Kansas City falling asleep while driving accident attorney at Mayer & Associates, P.C., explains that lack of sleep affects drivers in multiple ways:
- Insufficient sleep impairs coordination
- Lack of sleep slows the driver’s reaction times
- Sleep deprivation impairs judgment
- The memory of drivers lacking sufficient sleep is impaired, and so is their ability to retain information
Drowsy Driving Accidents In Missouri
Fact: Each year, drivers who fall asleep while driving cause an estimated more than 330,000 car accidents in Missouri and all across the United States. These drowsy driving crashes result in more than 40,000 injuries and about 800 deaths each year.
Experts agree that the actual number of drowsy driving accidents in the U.S. is higher because many of these crashes go unreported or underreported. Some studies found that up to 100,000 Americans get injured in fatigued driving accidents, while about 6,000 others die in car accidents caused by sleep-deprived drivers every year.
Sleep-Deprived Driving Is Just As Bad As Drunk Driving
“What’s the big deal if I get behind the wheel when I haven’t slept for 24 hours or more?” Many drivers think. Unfortunately, these drivers do not realize that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Our experienced drowsy driving accident attorney in Kansas City explains that studies showed that operating a vehicle after going more than 20 hours without sleep is just as bad as driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08%, which is the legal limit for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Missouri and most other states.
The risk of getting into a car accident caused by a sleep-deprived driver is high in Kansas City and all across Missouri. If you or a loved one is involved in a car crash involving a driver who fell asleep while driving, you will need an experienced lawyer by your side to prove that the other driver was lacking sufficient sleep at the time of the crash and that it was the primary cause or contributing factor in the accident.
As you can guess, only a small percentage of drowsy drivers actually admit to falling asleep behind the wheel and losing control of their vehicle due to lack of sleep.
Signs That A Driver Is Going To Fall Asleep While Driving
High-risk groups of motorists who are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel while driving include:
- Drivers of commercial vehicle operators (semi trucks, buses, delivery vehicles, etc.) who start working early and finish late at night
- Shift workers (especially those who work night shifts)
- Drivers with sleep disorders such as insomnia
- Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs
According to the National Safety Council, these are the warning signs that you are too sleepy to continue driving:
- Drinking too much coffee to function at your best
- Frequent yawning
- Eyes losing focus
- Eyes getting itchy or watery
- Slower reaction times
- Missing road signs or turns
- Difficulty focusing on the road
- Difficulty keeping your head up
- Difficulty remembering driving the last few miles
- Difficulty maintaining a constant speed
If you encounter a driver with any of these signs or see another motorist swerving between lanes, do your best to stay away from that driver, because the risk of him/her falling asleep behind the wheel is very high.
Contact Us If You Have Been Injured By A Drowsy Driver
If you have been involved in a car crash involving a drowsy driver, consult with our lawyer from Mayer & Associates, P.C.. Get a free consultation by calling 816-692-2877 or using our online contact form.