Common Causes of Sleep Deprived Car Accidents in Atlanta
Although most motorists recognize that driving while intoxicated is an unacceptable driving practice that endangers everyone on Georgia roadways, awareness of the danger posed by fatigued and drowsy drivers is less widely acknowledged. Whether a driver dozes off or slumps behind the wheel because of intoxication or long hours on the road without sleep, an unconscious driver creates an unacceptable level of risk for pedestrians, bicyclists and other vehicle occupants.
According to the public safety website smartmotorist.com, a survey of a thousand respondents conducted by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that 57 percent of drivers surveyed admitted to driving while drowsy during the prior year. Almost one in four admitted to actually dozing off behind the wheel. The scope of this potential auto accident risk is evidenced by the fact that drivers who fall asleep are estimated to cause 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities annually.
Atlanta auto accident attorney David Montlick commented, "While estimates regarding the number of families that are impacted by sleep-deprived drivers are alarming, the numbers are probably underreported because it can be difficult to prove that a driver crashed because of fatigue."
There are a number of factors that contribute to the prevalence of drowsy driving which include:
• Medications: There are many forms of medications have the potential to make drivers too tired to drive, depending on the ingredients, such as antihistamines, alcohol containing products (e.g. certain cough syrups), antianxiety medications and antidepressants, and certain types of pain medication. Individuals taking any form of over-the-counter or prescription medication should carefully review the label and packaging for warnings regarding driving or operating heavy machinery.
• Sleep Deprivation: Whether you skip a night of sleep or habitually restrict your sleep by 1-2 hours per night, the result will be sleep impaired driving. The best way to avoid fatigued driving is to get adequate sleep before starting your engine.
• Driving Patterns: There are certain types of driving practices that disproportionately lead to drowsy driving. Driving long hours on a daily basis and driving between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. are examples of driving practices that can increase the risk of drowsy driving accidents. There also is evidence linking a high number of total hours on the road each year with an increased risk of sleep deprivation-related accidents.
• Intoxicated Drivers: While alcohol consumption prior to driving can impair driving in a number of ways, the risk of falling asleep after ingesting this depressant is significant.
If you are injured in a collision with a sleep-deprived driver, you might be entitled to financial compensation. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.