Any number of factors can cause a car crash. Sometimes poor weather conditions cause or contribute to motor vehicle collisions. Other examples include: faulty brakes, eroded roads, and other conditions that are out of the driver’s control. However, when a tired driver’s lack of attention causes a collision, that driver can be found to be negligent.
The Risk of Drowsy Driving
According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 21 percent of fatal driving collisions are the result of drowsy driving. Specifically, the study found a direct correlation between the likeliness of a crash, and the number of hours of sleep a driver had the previous night.
- Drivers who slept between 6 and 7 hours the previous night were 1.3 times as likely to crash.
- Drivers who had 5-6 hours of sleep were 1.9 times as likely to crash.
- Drivers who had 4-5 hours of sleep were 4.3 times as likely to crash (a similar level of risk is seen with drunk drivers).
- Drivers who had less than 4 hours of sleep were 11.5 times as likely to crash.
The reality is that drivers who are fatigued at the wheel are choosing to put their lives and the lives of others at risk. That said, it can be a challenge proving that the other driver was fatigued and that the fatigue caused or contributed to the collision.
What Your Lawyer Can Find
Seasoned lawyers investigating your car accident are trained to recognize the signs of a drowsy driver. These indications include a lack of tire marks leading to the crash, the schedule the driver had leading to the crash (commercial truck drivers must keep a sleep log specifically for this reason), even GPS and camera footage has been used as evidence of drowsy driving.
The defendant may argue that drowsiness is a subjective factor that cannot be measured in terms of “safe levels” for driving. Ultimately, your lawyer will need to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident regardless of his level of fatigue. That said, proof that the driver was tired may be used to demonstrate negligence and increase your chances of winning your case.
The Los Angeles motor vehicle accident attorneys at Sheridan & Rund, P.C. have experience representing victims of drowsy drivers. We will perform a thorough investigation to ensure that we uncover the evidence you need to win your case. Please call us today for a free consultation.