Why is Drowsy Driving Dangerous?

Drowsy Driver tired holding the wheel of his car

Drowsy Driving Car Accident in Sacramento

If you suffered injuries and property damage in a car accident due to a negligent driver’s drowsy driving in Sacramento, you could be entitled to compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.

Victims of drowsy drivers may struggle to get the compensation they are owed under the law since driver fatigue can be legally challenging to prove. However, an experienced car accident attorney can help prove your claim, collect crucial evidence, and seek adequate damages on your behalf. 

Contact the Demas Law Group now for a free consultation.

The Signs of Driver Fatigue

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving contributed to almost 800 traffic fatalities in a single recent year. However, it can be complex and challenging to determine exactly how many accidents are caused by drowsy driving since driver fatigue can be hard to prove once an accident has happened. 

Some observable signs of driver fatigue before a crash occurs include: 

  • Head bobbing
  • Yawning frequently
  • Drifting in and out of lanes
  • Slower reaction times
  • Erratic driving speed variations
  • Missing an exit

After an accident, drowsy driving indicators may include evidence that the driver failed to take evasive action such as braking and steering before the collision. 

Drivers Most at Risk for Drowsy Driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers most at risk for drowsy driving include:

  • Commercial truck or bus drivers 
  • Night shift workers and people working long hours 
  • Younger drivers
  • Drivers with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders 
  • Drivers using medications that cause drowsiness

While some drivers are at higher risk of driving fatigued and causing drowsy driving accidents, all road users can potentially be affected by fatigued driving. Individuals can suffer from fatigue for many reasons, such as the arrival of a new baby, insomnia, prescription medications, or embarking on a long drive during the holidays. 

Most drowsy driving accidents occur during the night, which is when our bodies naturally slow down.

Driving drowsy endangers not only the fatigued driver themselves but also all other road users. It can cause accidents with fatalities as well as serious injuries. If you were hurt due to a drowsy driver, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. Contact the experienced drowsy driving car accident attorneys at Demas Law Group to learn more about your legal rights today. 

How Drowsy Driving Is Similar to Drunk Driving

Some differences exist between drowsy driving and drunk driving. According to the Sleep Foundation, drunk drivers can be overly confident and compulsive, resulting in irresponsible and reckless driving behaviors. Fatigue, on the other hand, typically reduces a driver’s ability to stay alert and vigilant. 

Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Driving drunk and driving fatigued can both potentially lead to:

  • Falling asleep at the wheel
  • Reduced reaction times
  • Reduced capacity for sound decision-making

Staying awake for long hours can have severe consequences for a driver and other road users. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), even moderate sleep deprivation can result in impairments comparable to alcohol intoxication. After longer periods with no sleep, fatigued drivers’ driving performance correlates to intoxicated drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 percent.

Unlike alcohol intoxication, sleep deprivation is impossible to measure after an accident. That means that accidents can be mistakenly attributed to other causes, and victims of drowsy drivers may face considerable challenges when trying to recover compensation.

Laws Against Drowsy Driving in Sacramento

While there is no specific law that deals with drowsy driving in Sacramento, a drowsy driver can be held to account depending on the consequences of their actions either in criminal court, civil court, or both. 

A drowsy driver can potentially be charged with reckless driving if their driving behavior endangers other road users’ lives and property. 

According to California Vehicle Code Section 23103 VC, anyone willfully or wantonly disregarding others’ safety while driving on a highway can be found guilty of reckless driving. Reckless driving can result in jail time and fines.

People injured by a reckless drowsy driver could potentially recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. 

Liability for a Crash Caused by Driver Fatigue

If an accident and your injuries and losses occurred due to a fatigued driver, that driver would usually be liable for your damages. Proving liability for a drowsy driving crash can be complex. Clear evidence showing that the driver was overly tired at the time of the collision is often hard to come by. 

The at-fault driver and their insurer will most likely try to fight a claim vigorously and may try to blame the accident on some other factor or the victim’s actions. Having dedicated and experienced legal representation can be crucial for victims of drowsy drivers. 

A car accident attorney can immediately begin to secure critical and time-sensitive evidence proving driver fatigue, such as:

  • Traffic camera or dash camera footage
  • Witness statements
  • Expert witness opinions

If your attorney can prove that a driver acted negligently in causing your crash, you could then pursue compensation such as healthcare costs, income loss, pain and suffering, and others. 

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Sacramento for Help

Handling a drowsy driving accident on your own can be overwhelming. However, the experienced and dedicated Sacramento car accident lawyers at Demas Law Group can take your case from beginning to end, leaving no stone unturned in fighting for fair compensation. 

Some ways in which we can help ensure your legal rights remain protected include:

  • Protecting your legal rights by offering guidance
  • Negotiating with insurance companies and tracking your claim
  • Gathering evidence to prove your case and your damages
  • Determining your past, present, and expected future damages 
  • Providing expert witnesses to strengthen your case
  • Fighting for a comprehensive out-of-court settlement
  • Representing you strongly at trial

We are committed to helping accident victims get on with their lives after a devastating accident. Our attorneys have a track record of helping injured individuals pursue compensation for over 25 years. 

Call the Demas Law Group today for a free, no-obligation consultation to determine whether you have a case.

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