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Drowsy drivers are a serious safety problem on North Carolina and South Carolina roads and across the nation. Many drivers admit to having driven while tired, and more than a third say they have fallen asleep at the wheel, according to a National Sleep Foundation survey. Drowsiness impairs a driver’s decision-making ability and slows reaction time, stealing the precious seconds a driver has to avoid a collision.
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A contributing factor to many serious car accidents is driver fatigue or an accumulated sleep deficit. Men are more likely than women to drive drowsy and nearly twice as likely to fall asleep behind the wheel.
A serious accident caused by a drowsy driver can be devastating to a family that loses a loved one or is saddled with thousands of dollars of unanticipated medical bills due to a catastrophic injury. Your family does not have to carry that burden by itself. Let an experienced North Carolina or South Carolina accident attorney at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and help you obtain the financial compensation to move forward after a serious accident. We work aggressively to help our clients recover from accidents.
For an attorney that investigates all the possible causes of an accident, call (800) 351-3008.
Drowsy Driving Cause 6 Percent of Crashes, AAA Estimates
According to data from the National Safety Council, traffic deaths are up significantly in North Carolina and South Carolina in 2015. Traffic deaths in North Carolina went up 19 percent in just the first half of 2015. In South Carolina, fatal accidents have increased by 21 percent during the first half of the year.
Drowsy driving contributes to many accidents and is likely a more severe problem than even official government traffic statistics reflect, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a 2014 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic, researchers analyzed data from a representative sample of more than 14,200 crashes from 2009 through 2013 where a car was towed from the accident scene to look for indications that drowsy driving was a factor. They estimated that a drowsy driver was involved in:
- 6 percent of all crashes analyzed
- 7 percent of crashes in which a person was treated for injuries
- 13 percent of crashes in which a person was hospitalized
- 21 percent of fatal accidents
Those totals were higher than government estimates and suggest that drowsy driving is a bigger issue than previously believed.
Applying those percentages to all crashes nationwide would mean that drowsy drivers are involved in 109,000 crashes that cause injuries and 6,400 fatal accidents a year.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults sleep for a duration of 7 to 9 hours per day and teenagers log 8 to 10 hours of sleep to be appropriately rested. Unfortunately, many people get behind the wheel of a vehicle when they have had too little rest, drinking alcohol, or taking sedating medication, putting them at risk of causing a drowsy driving accident.
What Drivers Are Prone to Drowsy Driving?
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, certain types of drivers are more prone than others to accidents involving drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel. They include:
Drowsy driving is a pervasive problem among commercial truck drivers. Unfortunately, some trucking companies focus more on delivery deadlines than driver safety and alertness. Unreasonable delivery deadlines put pressure on 18-wheeler truck drivers to disregard rules limiting the hours behind the wheel and to push themselves until they are dangerously fatigued and at risk to themselves and other motorists on the highway.
Commercial truck drivers who stay at the wheel of 18 wheelers past the point of exhaustion pose a severe safety hazard on North Carolina highways. Driver fatigue is cited as a contributing factor in many serious and fatal truck accidents each year.
Helping Victims of Drowsy Drivers in North and South Carolina
Sufficient sleep is critical to our ability to drive safely. Drivers who have driven past the point of exhaustion and are fighting to stay awake are jeopardizing their own safety and the safety of others. They should be held accountable when their careless behavior causes harm to others. If you or your loved one has been injured by a drowsy driver, you may be entitled to seek compensation to cover your medical bills and other expenses.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, our North Carolina drowsy driving attorney cares about our clients and treats them as part of our extended family. If you hire us, you will be working with a legal team of down-to-earth people who provide exceptional legal representation for our injured clients.
Call us at (800) 351-3008 for a free evaluation of your accident and explanation of your legal rights. Visit us at our offices in Hickory, Charlotte, and Greenville North Carolina or in Columbia and Rock Hill, South Carolina.
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