Common Traits of Car Accidents Caused by Sleeping Drivers
When people consistently do not get proper sleep, their physical and cognitive performances begin to slip. This is especially apparent behind the wheel of a vehicle. Sleepiness makes people inattentive and slows their reaction times. Although it is difficult to count precisely the number of car accidents in Massachusetts caused by drowsy drivers because it cannot be tested for like alcohol or drug use, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributes thousands of crashes a year to it.
Analyses of crash data have revealed patterns and trends that point to an accident caused by a sleeping driver. Often, a driver is alone in the vehicle. Crashes tend to be very serious because the driver was unable to respond, unlike other situations in which conscious drivers attempt to avoid collisions. Also, accidents on high-speed roads, such as freeways, where people often travel long distances have a likelihood of resulting in a drowsy driver.
Accidents linked to sleepiness also cluster during certain times. Late night and early morning hours are especially risky. For elderly drivers, the middle of the afternoon is a common time to fall asleep behind the wheel. Medications can be another culprit, particularly some allergy medicines, antidepressants and painkillers.
When a person is injured in a car accident, he or she could miss work, incur high medical bills and, in the worst situations, suffer permanent disability. If the negligence of another driver caused the accident, then the injured person might be able to win compensation with a personal injury lawsuit. Speaking with an attorney could help a person learn about the damages he or she might be able to recover. An attorney might also be able to identify evidence of negligence in an accident investigation that would support a lawsuit.