Most adults struggle to get enough sleep at night. Whether it is a tight deadline at work, child-related responsibilities, insomnia, or another cause, studies show that a large percentage of Americans are sleep-deprived. Inadequate sleep can have a major impact on a person’s physical and mental functioning. When a sleep-deprived individual gets behind the wheel of a car, he or she is significantly more likely to be involved in a car accident than someone who got enough sleep. Vehicle crashes caused by fatigued drivers lead to thousands of injuries and deaths each year.
Do Not Underestimate the Effect of Sleep Deprivation on Driving
Healthy habits like eating vegetables, exercising, and getting enough sleep are often hard to maintain. Life circumstances often get in the way of our good intentions. However, getting behind the wheel of a car when you are too sleepy to operate it safely not only puts your life in danger but also the lives of those around you. Sleep deprivation negatively affects a person’s reaction time, problem-solving skills, coordination, and other cognitive processes. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that driving after being awake for 20 hours or more is equivalent to driving drunk in terms of impairment. People who are severely sleep-deprived may even experience instances of “micro-sleep.” These short bursts of sleep are involuntary and often occur without the person’s knowledge. Although fatigue is linked to approximately 1000,000 car accidents each year, many people underestimate the effect sleepiness has on their ability to safely drive.
Your Legal Rights After Being Hurt in an Accident Caused by a Fatigued Driver
Drivers have not only a moral obligation but also a legal obligation to drive safely and attentively. If an individual is too tired to pay attention to his or her surroundings, follow the speed limit, stop at stop signs, and otherwise drive responsibly, he or she should avoid driving until he or she is rested. If a driver causes an accident because he or she falls asleep at the wheel or is too sleepy to drive safely, the driver may be liable for damages. Individuals injured by the sleepy driver’s behavior may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact a Champaign Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident caused by a fatigued driver or a driver acting negligently, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact a skilled Peoria personal injury attorney from the distinguished legal team at Kanoski Bresney. Call our office today at 888-826-8682 to schedule a free consultation.