Dangers of Drowsy Driving in South Carolina

Free Evaluation
100% Secure & Confidential
5.0 Google Rated

Fatigued driving accidents can be far worse than most other crashes because they can occur at high speed and with zero warning. As a driver, you have no way to anticipate a fatigued driver or how they can harm you. If you have been injured in one of these accidents, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for your injuries. Call our experienced Charleston car accident lawyers at The Hartman Law Firm, LLC to learn more about whether you have a potential legal case for compensation after a car accident.

Statistics About Drowsy Driving

Many people think that drowsy driving is not necessarily dangerous. Thanks to the publicity and news stories, many believe that drunk driving is far more hazardous. Do not let a lack of awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving fool you into believing that it can be any less dangerous than drunk driving. Going twenty hours or more without sleep is functionally the same as getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content of .08.

Roughly 4% of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel. This number reflects only the respondents who shared with a surveyor that they fell asleep. The real number of people who have nodded off in their car while driving is anticipated to be far higher.

There is a wide range of estimates as to the number of crashes that involved drowsy driving. One report places the number of annual fatigue driving crashes at 100,000. However, other reports list the number as far higher, with one estimate that 328,000 fatigued driving crashes occur each year.

Drowsy Driving and Its Risks

When motorists do not get the proper rest, they are far more dangerous drivers. Fatigued driving can have the following impacts on a motorist’s safety:

  • The driver is not able to pay sufficient attention behind the wheel.
  • Reaction times can be considerably slower.
  • The motorist can nod off for a brief second or minutes.
  • The driver has a reduced ability to control their car.
  • Judgment can be impaired when the motorist is not able to think clearly.

The driver does not even have to fall asleep to be an increased risk of a car accident. Being unable to respond to challenges on the road, such as braking, makes a fatigued driver far more dangerous to others on the road.

Common Causes of Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is about more than not getting the proper amount of sleep. Of course, when you are not physically rested, you are much less sharp and more likely to make mistakes. Drowsy driving can also occur because one is physically fatigued. For example, a driver may have been engaging in physical labor for an extended period, resulting in fatigue.

One could also be fatigued as a result of medication. For example, one could be taking a prescription medication that specifically urges the patient not to drive afterward. You do not have to be taking strong painkillers to become drowsy from your medication.

Preventative Measures To Avoid Drowsy Driving

The best way to prevent drowsy driving is for the motorist to get sufficient sleep at night. Doctors recommend that the average person get eight hours of sleep at night to be fully functional the next day.

In addition, motorists should not hesitate to pull off the road to rest if they find themselves getting drowsy behind the wheel. It is always better to arrive at one’s destination later than to risk an accident due to drowsiness. The motorist should recognize the warning signs of being fatigued and either not drive their car or pull over if they are already behind the wheel.

Legal Consequences of Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving

The driver who was responsible for the accident has a legal obligation to pay the other one full compensation for their injuries. In drowsy driving accidents, it is usually the fatigued driver who was negligent and caused the crash. However, fatigue is not the sole determinant of whether a driver was to blame for the accident. What matters is the actual actions of the driver.

If you have been injured in a fatigued driving accident, you would either file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company or a lawsuit against them in court. You would also need to prove your damages to receive the full amount of compensation. An experienced lawyer can help you determine the value of your case and fight for you to receive everything you deserve.

How To Prove Fatigue in Car Accident Claims

It is not always necessary to prove that the driver was fatigued in the accident. Their actions alone, especially if they veered out of their lane or lost control of their car, could be proof of negligence. However, there may be instances in which you need to prove fatigue to be successful in your claim.

There are ways that your lawyer can investigate and potentially prove that the other driver was fatigued, including obtaining the following:

  • Testimony from other drivers who saw the driver operating their vehicle erratically
  • Records from their cell phone that could show how long they were awake
  • Employment records that could prove that they did a double shift at work
  • Prescription medication records that show the driver was taking something that could have made them drowsy

Contact a Charleston Car Accident Lawyer Today

Attorney Frank Hartman and his team at The Hartman Law Firm are prepared to wage a legal battle on your behalf when you have been injured in a car accident. Insurance companies won’t make it easy to obtain the compensation you deserve so you need an experienced attorney in your corner. All you need to do is take the first step and contact us to schedule a free case evaluation. You can message us online, or you can call us today at 843.300.7600.

The Hartman Law Firm Logo
Call Now For a
Free Case Evaluation
843.300.7600Available 24/7

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.