Every person who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has the legal
duty to drive in accordance to the law in order to reduce risks of preventable
auto accidents. While most people understand this duty and what it means
– obeying traffic laws, not driving under the influence, etc. –
many people still commit negligent acts that result in preventable wrecks
and injuries. Even if you believe you obey the laws behind the wheel,
it’s still important to know when you may be at an increased risk
of causing an accident. This is particularly true when you drive while tired.
Driving while fatigued has become a large concern across America, as more
people work long hours and often don’t get sufficient rest as recommended
by medical professionals. Here are few points about driving while fatigued:
Increased risks – Numerous studies have found that driving while fatigued poses
increased risks of becoming involved in accidents. Traffic reports studied
by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have shown that
an estimated 100,000 traffic crashes involving a police report each year
indicate that a fatigued driver is at fault. Studies also indicate that
the less sleep a driver gets, the greater the risks of an accident. For
example, drivers who get 6 to 7 hours of sleep are two times as likely
to be involved in a wreck as drivers who get a full 8 hours of rest or
more. Motorists who slept for under 5 hours increase their crash risks
by as many as 4 to 5 times that of fully rested drivers.
Just as dangerous as driving drunk – A recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found
that that driving with just 4 – 5 hours of sleep is just as dangerous
as driving with a BAC level above the legal limit. This means researchers
found evidence of comparable risks between fatigued drivers and drunk
drivers. This is an important finding that should put the dangers of fatigued
driving in better perspective for all motorists.
What to do – Medical professionals and researchers both recommend that in order
to decrease risks of accidents, drivers should get an adequate amount
of rest each night. While this may not always be the case in the real
world, drivers can make up lost hours by sleeping more the following night,
and can take rest breaks and turns when driving longer hours. Drivers
who find themselves falling asleep at the wheel should always pull over,
rest, or call for a ride if they believe they are too fatigued to drive safely.
There may be laws – Although there are currently no laws or tests to determine if
a driver is too tired to drive, such as tests that exist for drunk drivers,
there may be laws in place when certain parties are involved. For example,
drivers of commercial vehicles and trucks are regulated by laws that prevent
them from working too many hours and being behind the wheel for too long.
When commercial drivers violate these regulations and cause accidents
as a result, they can be held accountable for the damages victims suffer.
At The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC, we focus on protecting the rights of victims
injured in preventable
auto accidents, including accidents involving tired drivers. Over the years, we have
used our attorneys’ decades of collective experience to fully establish
fault and liability in auto accident cases, and recover millions of dollars
in compensation when our clients needed it most.
If you have questions about auto accidents, your rights, and what our Virginia
personal injury lawyers can do to help you and your case,
contact us today for a FREE consultation.