Houston Auto Accidents | Driver Fatigue
There is now a new driver handicap being attributed to many of the car accidents reported in the United States, and that culprit is called driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is essentially a driver that has either fallen asleep behind the wheel of a moving car or suffers a moment of unconsciousness that results in a traffic accident.
Facts About Driver Fatigue and Traffic Accidents
At some point during our driving lives, one in three American motorists will fall asleep at the wheel. For some, it will happen as often as once a month. Where Houston auto accident settlements are concerned, there is scarcely a Houston auto accident attorney in practice today who has not traced the cause of at least one crash to a tired driver who should have stayed at home and gone to bed.
Police cannot arrest a weary motorist. No breathalyzer test will find them out. As a result, at least 1,550 people will die and 71,000 will suffer injury while $12.5 billion in monetary losses accrue on a yearly basis.
Who is Most Likely to Offend?
A Houston auto injury attorney understands that those most likely to drive while sleep-deprived will range between the ages of 18 and 29 years. More men than women will take the risk, and they are the ones most likely to wind up falling asleep at the wheel.
How Much Sleep Is Enough?
While the safest drivers are those who have slept for at least eight hours, it may surprise you to learn that six or even seven of sleep may not be enough. Driving with still fewer hours of sleep can be a real envelope-push. Those who take the wheel with no more than five hours’ of sleep are four to five times as likely as the wide-awake driver to end up involved in a crash.
Where Is it Likely to Happen?
The majority of sleep-related accidents occur on high-speed rural highways between the hours of 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Almost every Houston car crash attorney is aware that for the tired driver in a quiet, comfortable vehicle, driving straight and featureless roads can often morph into a sleep-inducing death trap.
Drunk or Drowsy: Which Is Worse?
In many respects, the two conditions are strikingly similar. A driver who has gone without sleep for 24 hours is no less impaired than one whose blood-alcohol level measures 0.10 percent. Of the two, however, the sleepy driver is the one more likely to cause a wreck. A drunk driver could manage to avoid an obstacle that the sober one who has nodded off will never even see.
Why Do People Do This?
Some have no idea that driving when drowsy is dangerous. While one who has had a few too many alcoholic beverages will often hand their car keys to a sober friend, the tired driver often feels perfectly able to get to where they are going on their own, often with tragic results.
Do I Have Any Recourse?
If you or someone in your family has suffered injury or death at the hands of a sleep-deprived driver, a well-versed Houston personal injury attorney will help you explore your options.
Houston vehicle accident lawyers are a necessary tool to prove that you were affected by another driver falling asleep behind the wheel. This is often a difficult situation because it can be hard to prove that another driver was experiencing driver fatigue. If you believe that you have a case against a driver due to driver fatigue contact the law office of the DeSimone Attorneys.