The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. However, with more and more people working longer hours or multiple jobs to make ends meet, more than a third of Americans aren't getting enough rest—and this can have devastating consequences for roadway safety. A major contributor of drowsy driving is when a driver leaves work late and has a long commute during the evening.
Driving While Drowsy Endangers Everyone on the Road
Though many people think nothing of getting behind the wheel when they're sleepy, this is actually a common and preventable cause of motor vehicle accidents. While federal statistics estimate links to drowsiness in just 1 to 2 percent of crashes, a 2018 study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed much higher instances of fatigue-related accidents. The study, which was conducted by analyzing in-vehicle dashcam video from more than 700 crashes, found that 9.5 percent of all accidents—and 10.8 percent of serious crashes—involved drowsy drivers.
Why such a large discrepancy between the federal and AAA estimates? The federal data relies on police reports, rather than dashcam video. Many drivers who are involved in a crash may be reluctant to admit that they were overly tired—or dozed off behind the wheel—at the time of the accident.
A previous AAA study showed that drowsy driving nearly doubles the risk of an accident, making it just as dangerous as drunk driving. Fatigue and alcohol can have similarly impairing effects such as decreased alertness, impaired judgment, and slowed reaction times.
If you were hurt in a car crash caused by a drowsy driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and other losses. An experienced California car accident attorney can investigate your case, help you understand your legal rights and options, and build a strong claim for damages.
We Can Help You Fight for Fair Compensation
At the Inland Empire Law Group, our skilled team of injury recovery professionals has helped countless California car accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Find out if we can help you, too—contact us today at (909) 481-0100 or (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free, initial consultation.