Bizarre Atlanta Auto Accident Involving a Sleeping Hit-And-Run Driver Raises a Range of Issues
Our Atlanta car accident attorneys occasionally run across a story about a local collision where the facts are so disturbing that it serves as a wakeup call regarding for the scope of the risk faced by drivers. A recent accident reported by WSB-TV Atlanta provides a cautionary tale for those who navigate our streets and highways. A driver was caught on video stopped in a lane of traffic with the engine running on a busy Georgia highway while he slept with drool dribbling down his chin. When a Georgia Department of Transportation HERO unit arrived on the scene, the HERO worker tried to wake the driver and remove the driver's keys from the ignition of the vehicle. The driver did wake up but scuffled with the HERO work and nearly ran him over before colliding with several vehicles while fleeing the scene.
This bizarre incident serves as a reminder of the very real hazards that confront Georgia motorists. Because this incident raises a range of relevant issues that are not necessarily all inter-related, we will discuss each issue in succession.
Drowsy Driving: While it is unclear why this motorist decided to stop his vehicle and nap in the traffic lane of the Buford Connector near downtown Atlanta, drowsy driving is a significant issue. Drivers who operate motor vehicles without sufficient sleep make judgment errors, fall asleep behind the wheel and exhibit impaired driving skills comparable to a drivers committing DUI.
Substance Impaired Driving: Although the hit-and-run accident is still under investigation, this type of incident often involves drivers who doze off because of drug or alcohol intoxication. The likelihood of driver impairment may be especially high in this case because the driver did not just nod off while driving; he literally stopped his vehicle in the middle of traffic. It may be hard to imagine the judgment of a driver being this impaired, but this serves as an illustration of the extent judgment and decision-making of drivers can be affected by alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription drugs.
Difficulty Identifying Responsible Parties: If the driver who collided with the other vehicles before fleeing the scene cannot be located, there may be a real challenge for the injury victims in proving the fault of another party. While there may be facts supporting fault by the worker for the DOT or others drivers at the scene, this is a situation where an investigation may be necessary to identify viable claims against third parties.
Hit-And-Run Challenges: The driver who committed hit-and-run in this accident has not yet been located. An investigation that includes reviewing surveillance camera footage and interviews with witnesses may result in finding the driver who fled the scene. However, many hit-and-run drivers flee the scene because they are under the influence of alcohol. It is also true that many accidents involving drivers committing DUI involve repeat offenders that do not have a driver's license or insurance. If a third party cannot be identified as sharing fault for the accident, the victims may need to consult a Georgia Uninsured Motorist Attorneys about pursuing a claim under their own UM coverage.
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