Although society now has increased awareness of impaired and distracted driving, fatigued or drowsy driving can be equally dangerous. Too many drivers believe that “I wake up as soon as I’m behind the wheel.” While they may experience momentary clarity when they turn the key, drivers who are exhausted or sleepy will not remain alert for long, putting everyone else on the road at great risk.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in New Jersey caused by a driver who was fatigued or drowsy, contact Nagel Rice LLP for the powerful legal representative you need.
Our car accident attorneys have extensive experience and an impressive track record of success both in and out of the courtroom. As a matter of fact, we have recovered over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our deserving clients.
Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we recover damages.
How Prevalent Are Fatigued/Drowsy Car Accidents?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy or fatigued driving is a widely underestimated hazard. Shockingly, studies show that about 1 in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days. Many more admit to driving while sleep-deprived.
Furthermore, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 328,000 drowsy driving crashes occur annually in this country, more than three times the number reported by police. The same study found that well over 100,000 of these drowsy driving crashes resulted in an injury and about 6,400 were fatal.
Reasons Drivers Are Fatigued and/or Drowsy on New Jersey Roads
Drivers on our highways, rural roads, and city streets may be tired or sleepy for a number of reasons. None of the following reasons, however, is sufficient to excuse the decision to put lives at risk by taking the wheel:
- Fatigue after extreme physical exertion
- Inadequate sleep due to tending to an infant, insomnia, anxiety, sleep apnea, or being a teen or young adult burning the candle at both ends
- Excessive work hours (due to double shifts or more than one job)
- Underlying illness
- Effects of medication
It should be noted that truckers and coach bus drivers, who work long hours and drive long distances with few breaks, are especially susceptible to fatigued/drowsy driving. The fact that some of these workers take stimulants can result in dangerous rebound effects.
How Being Fatigued or Drowsy Affects Drivers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that driving while drowsy is quite similar to driving while intoxicated since:
- Both drowsy and intoxicated drivers have slowed reaction times, diminished awareness of hazards, and reduced ability to sustain attention
- Driving after 20 hours without sleep is the equivalent of driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent (the legal limit)
- Fatigued drivers are 3 times more likely to be in a car crash than alert drivers
- Some drivers are unaware that they are fatigued, just as some drivers do not realize that they are intoxicated
Scientists note that many sleepy individuals experience episodes of “micro-sleep” during which they are entirely unaware of their surroundings. If they are driving at highway speed during such an episode, their vehicle will cover the length of a football field while they are unconscious.
Drugs That Increase Sleepiness and Make Driving More Dangerous
A high percentage of the population in this country is medicated at any given time. Drugs they take may be over-the-counter products, prescription drugs, or recreational drugs (legal or illegal).
Unfortunately, many of these drugs have innate sleep-inducing properties or cause drowsiness as a side effect, including:
- Opioid pain relievers
- Prescription drugs for anxiety
- Anti-seizure drugs
- Antipsychotic drugs
- Some antidepressants
- Products containing codeine
- Some antihistamines and cold remedies
- Sleeping pills
- Muscle relaxants
- Drugs to prevent nausea
- Cannabis products
As previously noted, stimulant drugs may cause sleepiness in some individuals or induce sleepiness when they wear off. With so many of these drugs in general circulation, it is no wonder that there are too many sleepy drivers on the road, causing accidents that never should have happened.
How Nagel Rice Fatigued/Drowsy Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
Our reputation for excellence is well-earned. As soon as you contact us, we are ready to begin forcefully fighting for your right to meaningful compensation. We will take over:
- All communications with the individual or entity (e.g. trucking company) responsible for your losses
- Meticulously examine police records, medical reports, and forensic evidence
- Identify and interview any witnesses
- Solicit expert medical or technical testimony in support of your claim
- Create a strategy designed to recover just compensation for you through negotiation alone, or, failing that, through aggressive litigation
Damages You Deserve if a Drowsy Driver Has Caused You Serious Harm
Whether you have suffered fractured bones, traumatic brain injury, severe burns, spinal cord injury, organ damage, or loss of sight, hearing, or limb, our attorneys are here to offer you the legal and moral support you need at this terrible time. We will work hard and long to bring you the compensation you are entitled to for both economic and non-economic losses, including:
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Lost income, present and future
- Property damage
- Replacement services
- Extended nursing care
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Permanent disability
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you are facing the misery of the loss of a loved one due to a fatigued/drowsy car accident, we know that we can’t diminish your grief. We will, however, do everything possible to recover funds for final medical expenses, funeral costs, and your loss of financial and emotional support.
Contact Our Experienced Fatigued/Drowsy Car Accident Lawyers Today
Don’t try to fight for your rights without the backup of our strong, dependable car accident attorneys. With us on your side, you stand the best chance of receiving every dollar you and your family deserve for all you have been through.