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Sleepiness and Driving is a Deadly Combination

September 21, 2015

If you have ever struggled to keep your eyes open while driving after working a long shift or suffering a sleepless night, then you have experienced the frightening feeling of driving while fatigued. The thought of driving a four thousand plus pound vehicle while driving at 60 miles per hour is enough to terrify any driver. While many motorists are concerned about being involved in an accident with an intoxicated driver, few consider the very real possibility of being hit by a drowsy driver.

The Challenges of Uncovering Drowsy Driving

Like alcohol, being tired while driving reduces reaction times, impairs judgment, decreases awareness and increases your overall chance of being involved in an accident. Unlike alcohol related accidents, there is no objective test for sleepiness behind the wheel. This can make it quite difficult for police officers to detect drowsiness as a cause of an accident. Further, due to the subjective nature of tiredness, it is nearly impossible to say with certainty that fatigue caused a crash. There are some clues police officers and investigators can look to in making a determination that fatigue played a role in a crash, but it is never an easy assessment and not all officers will recognize the clues.

Drowsy Driving is a Threat Any Time of Day

Many people incorrectly assume that drowsy driving is only a problem for nighttime drivers. A study conducted by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) reached the opposite conclusion. This study found that tired driving crashes were even more likely to occur during daytime hours than at night.

One explanation for this unexpected finding is the driving patterns of younger people. Drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 were found most likely to be involved in fatigued driving crashes. Researchers found that these young drivers were more likely to stay up late to either party or study, but then still had to commute to school or work in the morning hours. Accidents will often occur in this group of drivers due to their extreme fatigue in the early hours.

Fatigue is not always the result of staying up late. Drivers can also be tired due to a variety of reasons, including interrupted sleep, the use of sedating medications, the consumption of alcohol or a medical condition. These factors can have a cumulative effect and result in significant tiredness while driving. Tired drivers create dangerous road conditions. They are more prone to aggression and exhibit decreased performance. Moreover, they have an impaired reaction time and problems with processing. If you are injured in an accident and suspect fatigue played a role in the accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible.  A personal injury attorney can examine the facts and circumstances of what happened as well as take the necessary steps to protect your rights to compensation.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Zealous Representation for Car Accident Victims

If you have been injured in a car accident that may have involved negligence, the Atlanta car accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are here to help. Our firm has over 38 years of experience in pursuing injury claims arising from automobile accidents. We also accept cases across Georgia and in the Southeast. The sooner you act after your motor vehicle accident, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery for your injuries. As such, do not delay in seeking legal assistance. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 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 and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.