Drowsiness triples the risk for an auto accident

You may have been the victim of a car crash here in Louisville, Kentucky. If you were not to blame, though, you may be entitled to compensation under personal injury law. First, you’ll want to find out just how the other side was negligent.

One of the most common, and underreported, forms of negligence is drowsy driving. There are some 100,000 police-reported drowsy driving crashes each year, but according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number is actually more around 328,000. Of these, 109,000 involve injuries. Fatalities occur in an estimated 6,400.

The danger of drowsiness for drivers

The National Sleep Foundation says that drowsiness in drivers can triple the risk for a crash. It makes driving dangerous by causing inattention, impairing one’s ability to judge hazards on the road and slowing down one’s reaction to those hazards. In severe cases of drowsiness, one can experience four- or five-second periods of inattention called microsleep. Traveling down the highway, a driver could cover a football field without knowing it.

Crash avoidance tech and other interventions

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults sleep at least seven hours a night. Just in case, though, drivers with newer vehicles may consider having crash avoidance tech, such as lane departure warning, installed. Everyone should know what the symptoms of drowsiness are and, then, take the appropriate action. They include:

• Drooping eyelids
• Constant yawning
• Trouble staying in the lane
• Trouble remembering the last few exits

Education is key here, especially for college students, who sometimes get less than six hours of sleep. Universities could set up programs, for instance, to encourage safer driving. Employers, too, could create off-the-job safety programs.

Local representation for you

Victims of motor vehicle accidents may be eligible for damages even when they were partially to blame for their injuries. Whether or not this was the case with you, you may want a lawyer to give your case the personal attention it needs. A firm may build up your case without much hassle, and the lawyer may negotiate on your behalf for a reasonable settlement.