Florida Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer
Drowsy (or fatigued) driving causes thousands of car accidents, injuries and deaths each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) points to a survey in which a third of drivers admitted to falling asleep while behind the wheel and nearly half admitted to driving while sleepy.
In Florida, the state legislature has designated the first week of September each year as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. The Ronshay Dugan Act, designating the week for fatigued driving awareness, is named for an 8-year-old girl who died after a cement truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel and plowed into the activity bus in which she was riding.
If you have been harmed or a family member has lost their life in a drowsy driving car accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, helps drowsy driving accident victims across South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Palm Beach and Vero Beach. For a free consultation, contact us today at our toll-free number or through our online contact form.
Florida Is Serious About Drowsy Driving Accidents
In addition to the annual Drowsy Driving Prevention Week at the beginning of September, fatigued driving awareness and the “You Snooze, You Lose” campaigns have become major safety efforts of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Many in Florida and across the U.S. compare drowsy driving to drunk driving or driving while impaired.
A study by the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR) and the NHTSA said drowsy driving adversely affects the driver’s reaction time, vigilance, attention and information processing.
The NHTSA says drowsy driving results in about 56,000 auto crashes every year. Drowsy driving accidents lead to about 1,500 deaths and 40,000 injuries annually. “It is widely recognized that these statistics underreport the extent of these types of crashes,” the NHTSA says.
A Gallup Organization survey conducted for the NHTSA determined that 37 percent of drivers have nodded off while driving at some point in their lives. Almost three out of 10 (29 percent) of the drivers surveyed said they had last experienced nodding off behind the wheel within the previous year. One in 10 said this had happened to them within the previous month. This amounts to about 4 percent of the driving population – an estimated 7.5 million drivers – who have nodded off while driving within the past month, the NHTSA says.
The Florida Department of Transportation says the drivers most at risk for driving drowsy are:
- Young drivers age 16 to 29, especially male drivers (It is estimated that drivers under the age of 25 cause over half of crashes involving drowsiness.)
- Third-shift workers or others who work long shifts or irregular hours
- Jet-lagged business travelers
- Commercial drivers and long-haul truckers.
A typical crash related to drowsiness or falling asleep at the wheel is likely to be serious, the NHTSA says. This is in part because the sleepy or sleeping driver makes no attempt to slow the vehicle or avoid the crash. Drowsy driving crashes usually happen after midnight (late night / early morning) or at mid-afternoon on a high-speed road.
The use of certain medications, including sedatives like anxiolytic hypnotics, tricyclic antidepressants and some antihistamines, can cause drowsiness. Drinking alcohol, which is a sedative, compounds the detrimental effect that drowsiness has on physical and mental activity.
Drivers who decide to get behind the wheel when they are too sleepy to drive safely should be held accountable when their recklessness results in harm to others. People who are injured by a drowsy driver have the right to pursue compensation for their losses through a personal injury lawsuit. If someone has died in a car wreck caused by fatigued driving, the surviving family members may consider a wrongful death lawsuit against the drowsy driver.
Contact a Florida Drowsy Driving Lawyer Today
At Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, we help victims of drowsy driving accidents in Florida recover from their injuries and losses. When a driver chooses to get behind the wheel though he is too sleepy to drive safely and causes injury, death or property damage in a car wreck, those who have suffered should be made whole financially.
Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, is dedicated to helping people in Florida who have suffered because of someone driving while impaired by fatigue or sleepiness. If you or a loved one has been injured because of drowsy driving, or you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a fatigued driver, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries and losses.
Since 1975, our firm has investigated the circumstances of thousands of auto accidents on behalf of clients in South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and Vero Beach. If you’ve been hurt, Philip DeBerard is on your side.
Contact us today by calling our toll-free number or using our online contact form. You can put our Florida drowsy driving accident lawyers to work on your case right away.
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