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More Than One in Five Fatal Crashes Involve Drowsy Drivers

Posted on February 18, 2015

Drivers commonly underestimate their ability to drive while tired. The same person who would never drive while under the influence of alcohol may not even hesitate to get behind the wheel when fatigued. It is a fact that fatigued driving can prove as dangerous as drunk driving, and a large number of fatal auto accidents are caused by drowsy drivers.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than one in five fatal crashes involve driver fatigue. Approximately one third of crashes involving a drowsy driver result in injuries. Furthermore, there are over 6,000 fatigue-related crashes each year that result in at least one fatality. AAA research also shows that young adult drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 are the most likely to admit to driving while fatigued. Drivers of all ages, however, are putting their lives and the lives of others at risk when they get behind the wheel when tired.

Here are a few warning signs of drowsy driving that should not be ignored:

•Wandering, disconnected thoughts
•The inability to remember the last few miles
•Difficulty focusing
•Inability to keep eyes open
•Lane drifting
•Repeated yawning
•Missing traffic signs
•Tailgating
•Heavy head

If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, you should pull over and have someone else drive. Do not get behind the wheel until you are rested and alert. To prevent this type of dangerous situation from occurring again, make sure you get plenty of rest and drive at times when you are normally awake. On long trips, schedule a break every 100 miles and avoid eating heavy foods when taking your break. It can also help to have an alert passenger by your side who can take over driving when you need rest.

Fatigued driving is a form of negligent driving and you can be held accountable for the damages you cause while drowsy. Furthermore, you can pursue compensation from a fatigued driver who has hurt you or your loved ones. If you have been involved in a drowsy driving accident in Florida, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights and options.