Distracted driving is a problem that is coming to the forefront more often. Most people think that distracted driving is associated only with cell phone use or texting, but there are many other situations that can cause distraction. Eating, applying makeup, and reading are all other activities that can keep drivers from paying proper attention while behind the wheel. Fatigue is a common problem but one that is often overlooked. Yet driving while tired can actually cause accidents.
Fatigued drivers have slower than normal reaction times. In fact, some of the reaction times can be similar to those who are impaired due to alcohol or drug use. Some truck drivers have been in the news for reportedly driving for more than 24 hours at a time, most notably in the serious accident involving celebrity Tracy Morgan. The driver in that case was allegedly driving for an extended period of time when he fell asleep at the wheel and rear ended a vehicle, killing one person and severely injuring several more. Fatigue does not just affect truckers; extreme exhaustion can impair drivers, causing accidents with injuries.
Accidents Caused By Tired Drivers
Severe accidents can happen when drivers are fatigued. Rear end and side-swipe accidents can be caused when drivers doze off while driving. A rear end collision can cause serious injuries, often to the neck and back. A driver may not be aware of a red light or traffic ahead so he may not even apply the brakes. This can mean that the impact is made at a high rate of speed. Whiplash is one of the most frequent results of a rear end collision. It is important to note that the effects of whiplash may not be evident until the next day or longer.
Drivers should take care to ensure that they do not drive while they are exceptionally tired. Everyone has probably experienced the problem where they felt they needed to open the window to stay awake. If this happens it is a sign that you certainly should not be driving. Pull over to a safe location and park your vehicle. Better yet, if you feel overly tired do not get into your car and instead call a cab or take an Uber. Drinking coffee or energy drinks, or taking pills can actually create more impairment and may not help at all.
Accidents Caused By Fatigued Drivers
If you were the victim of an accident caused by a fatigued driver it may be necessary to take legal action. You may be able to get compensation for your injuries and for any expenses caused by the accident. Your attorney will review the details of your case to determine fault and negligence. Driving while fatigued is a type of impairment, which is negligent. Damages from your case could include costs for medical bills, money for lost wages while recovering, and compensation for pain and suffering. If the injuries are permanent you should also recover future health-related expenses. When you or a loved one were injured in an accident that was not your fault, call the skilled Columbia, SC auto accident lawyers at Connell Law Firm today.