Drowsy driving has become a leading cause of car accidents, largely because few people are getting the recommended amount of sleep. Missing even a few hours of sleep per night could significantly increase the chances a drowsy driving collision will occur. These collisions can cause serious injuries or fatalities, and often it is someone besides the sleepy driver who is hurt or killed if a collision happens.
If a serious or deadly car accident occurs, it is important for crash victims or families of victims to understand what their rights are and to pursue a claim for compensation against those who hurt them. An Atlanta car accident lawyer helps with both personal injury and wrongful death claims following a drowsy driving crash.
Drowsy Driving Crashes Can Cause Serious Injury for Atlanta Motorists
According to NWI Times, drowsy driving was a contributing factor to one out of every five fatal auto accidents last year. Drowsy driving also played a big role in causing crashes involving serious injuries. In total, 328,000 auto accidents involved a drowsy driver, and drowsy drivers were involved in 109,000 injury crashes and 6,400 deadly accidents.
This startling statistic is unsurprising when considering the fact that the risk of a car accident is 1.9 times greater for someone who has gotten between five and six hours of sleep nightly, as compared with someone who slept for at least seven hours. The risk presented by someone who has slept for just five to six hours is equivalent to the dangers that a drunk motorist presents.
While experts recommend that adults should sleep from seven to nine hours daily, a significant number of people do not meet this recommended sleep goal. In fact, between 18 and 35 percent of adults in the United States get less than seven hours of sleep over a period of 24-hours, depending upon which data you look at. Around twelve percent of adults sleep for less than five hours each night, and around two percent of U.S. adults sleep for less than four hours at a time.
All of these adults who are sleep deprived may experience various impairments and limitations that impact safe driving. As a result, around seven percent of all crashes in which a car is towed from the scene involve a fatigued driver, while around 13 percent of crashes resulting in hospital admissions involve a tired motorist. When it comes to fatal collisions, anywhere from 16 to 21 percent of accidents are related to driver fatigue.
Not all drivers face the same level of risk. Men were twice as likely as women to be involved in drowsy driving collisions. However, the majority of all drowsy driving crashes occurred because a sleepy motorist lost control of the car and either drifted into another lane or went off the road. If you or someone you love is involved in a collision because a sleepy driver makes these errors, or makes other mistakes on the road, it is important to take appropriate legal action to hold the fatigued motorist liable for loss.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.