Drunk driving crashes injure or kill thousands of Americans each year and, while most people would not dream of getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks, many do something that's just as dangerous on an almost daily basis when they make the choice to drive while tired.
Drowsy driving may sound relatively harmless, but years of research proves otherwise. The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conservatively estimates that more than 100,000 people are injured or killed each year in motor vehicle crashes caused by fatigue-related inattentiveness or falling asleep at the wheel. Many of those drowsy driving accidents, injuries, and fatalities occur right here in the state of Delaware.
In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) telephone survey conducted in 2009 and 2010 and found that, of the more than 147,000 people interviewed in 19 states and the District of Columbia (DC), 4.2 percent admitted having fallen asleep while driving at least once in the past month. Delaware was no exception—of the 4,155 Delawareans who participated in the BRFSS survey, 101 reported having dozed off behind the wheel in the previous 30 days.
According to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS), young drivers, shift workers, commercial drivers, business travelers, and people with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders are most at risk of being involved in drowsy driving crashes. Additionally, while proving that an accident was caused by a fatigued driver can be challenging, the crash itself can offer valuable clues, as drowsy driving accidents often share the following characteristics:
- The driver was alone in the vehicle
- The accident occurred in the late night or early morning hours, or the midafternoon
- The crash involved a single vehicle
- The accident is serious
- The driver made no attempt to avoid a collision
Do You Need an Experienced Car Accident Attorney?
If you were seriously injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Let the knowledgeable car accident attorneys with the Morris James Personal Injury Group review your case and help you explore your option. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.