By Serious Injury Law Group

In Traffic Accident Articles

Everyone knows that certain driving behaviors such as drunk driving and distracted driving are dangerous. However, drowsy driving is just as dangerous on Alabama’s roads, yet it doesn’t get the same type of attention.

The truth is that drowsy driving contributes to tens of thousands of accidents each year. In fact, approximately 168 million drivers in America have admitted to driving drowsy, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation.

Drivers who make the decision to get behind the wheel when they are too tired to safely operate a motor vehicle are acting negligently. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash caused by a drowsy driver, you should learn about your legal right to compensation. Please contact the drowsy driving accident attorneys at Serious Injury Law Group for a free consultation and smart legal advice.

What Causes Drowsy Driving?

Of course, drowsy driving is a result of drivers operating a vehicle while they are too tired to do so safely. There are, however, many causes of this type of behavior. Some of the most common include:

  • Sleep that was inadequate, interrupted, or fragmented
  • Sleep disorders such as chronic insomnia
  • Changing work schedules that affect the circadian rhythm or the amount of sleep a person gets
  • Traveling for too long without taking necessary breaks
  • Use of sedatives and sleep aids before driving
  • Consuming alcohol or drugs before driving

Drivers who are fatigued for any of these reasons will have slower reaction times, short-term memory loss, and possibly even drive aggressively. In many cases, these effects cause a fatigued driver to get into a drowsy driving accident.

What to Do if You’ve Been Hit by a Drowsy Driver

After being in a car accident with a driver who was drowsy, it can be difficult to know what to do to protect your rights. After all, there is no test for drowsy driving like there is for drunk driving. However, there are some steps you can take to preserve evidence and protect your right to recover compensation in a personal injury claim.

After any drowsy driving accident, you should:

  • Report the crash: It is law in Alabama that any accidents involving property damage, injury, or death must be reported. You should request a copy of the police accident report, which will contain important details about the wreck.
  • Exchange information: Exchange information with the other driver, including contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers.
  • Speak to eyewitnesses: The testimony of witnesses who saw the accident can greatly help substantiate your claim in the future. Be sure to get the witnesses’ names and contact information so your lawyer can follow up with them.
  • Take photos at the scene. If you are able, take pictures of the vehicles, their positioning, your injuries, and any other evidence at the site of the crash.
  • Seek medical attention: Your health should be your top priority after any car accident. Save all receipts and medical bills related to your crash, and make sure to follow your doctor’s orders.
  • Speak to a qualified attorney: Even before speaking to the insurance company, you should speak to an attorney who has experience with drowsy driving cases. Your lawyer can manage all the details of your personal injury claim and advise you on any next steps to take.

How to Prevent Drowsy Driving

All drivers have a responsibility to remain alert and careful when operating a motor vehicle. Here are some tips to help ensure you’re always alert behind the wheel:

  • Get enough sleep: If you feel like you’re too tired to drive, do not get behind the wheel.
  • Bring someone along for the ride: Having a friend in the car can help ensure you stay awake. If someone else is in the vehicle, they can also spot the signs if you’re drowsy, and you may even take turns at the wheel.
  • Take advantage of rest stops: There are many rest stops along Alabama’s highways. If you’re feeling drowsy, pull into one and take a much-needed rest period.
  • Drive during the daytime: Driving in the dark naturally makes you feel more tired because it is a signal to your body that it is bedtime. Additionally, you may have to strain your eyes to see the road better, which can add to drowsy driving.

All of these prevention tactics are important for every driver to remember. Staying alert on the road is the best way to keep yourself and others safe.

Drowsy Driving and Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person temporarily stops breathing during the sleep cycle. This condition is not only very dangerous for the person who suffers from it, but it can also lead to drowsy driving because those suffering from sleep apnea typically do not get very good sleep at night.

People with sleep apnea are at a higher risk for causing a drowsy driving accident. Anyone who suspects they have sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder should speak to a medical professional who can help treat the condition. Additionally, while many people with sleep apnea take medication to help them get a good night’s sleep, they still must act responsibly and only drive when they are alert and able to completely focus on the road.

Talk to a Drowsy Driving Accident Attorney Now

If you have been injured by a drowsy driver, do not try to take on your case alone. Call the Alabama drowsy driving accident lawyers at Serious Injury Law Group.

Our skilled legal team knows how to prove the other motorist was driving while fatigued, and we will use our knowledge and experience to help you build a strong case. We will also negotiate aggressively with the insurance companies on your behalf in order to demand the full and fair amount of compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for your free consultation. There is no fee to begin work on your case, and you only pay us if we recover money for you.

Attorney Chuck James

Chuck James is a Mobile native who graduated from University of Alabama. Chuck has been practicing law since early 2000. Contact Chuck James today for help with your personal injury case. Free consultations. Locations in Birmingham and Montgomery.