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Waukegan car accident lawyerAmericans overwhelmingly do not get as much sleep as they should. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least seven hours a night. However, busy work schedules, child care tasks, and other responsibilities often take precedence over sleep. The CDC estimates that 38 – 44 percent of Illinois adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. When a person is sleep-deprived, their brain is not functioning at an optimal level. This is why fatigue is such a large contributor to injury-causing car accidents.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Sleep deprivation can cause memory issues, difficulties with concentration and problem-solving, and slowed reaction times. Some sleep-deprived individuals even experience episodes of “microsleep” where they fall asleep for a few seconds without even realizing it. This makes drowsy driving extremely dangerous. Alcohol and drug use can significantly exacerbate the dangers of sleepiness behind the wheel. Shockingly, one in 25 drivers admits to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the previous month. It is estimated that drowsy driving causes up to 6,000 fatal car accidents every year.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Drowsy Driving

Although driving while fatigued is not against the law like driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, a fatigued driver may still be at fault for a car accident if his or her sleepiness contributed to the accident. Through a personal injury claim, an individual injured in a drowsy driving accident could be entitled to compensation for his or her losses. An accident victim may receive compensation for his or her medical expenses, property damage, lost income due to missed work, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and much more. However, in order to collect compensation, the injured person and his or her attorney will need to prove that the sleepy driver’s actions caused the accident. Proving fault in a car accident is often a very difficult task. Fortunately, an experienced car accident lawyer can help. Demonstrating that a drowsy driver’s actions led to an accident may involve analysis of physical evidence as well as testimony from expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction experts, highway safety experts, engineers, and doctors.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneys, distracted driving, texting and driving, driver negligence, dangerous drivingIn 2016 alone, 37,461 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. The staggering number represents a 5 percent increase from 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of the nearly 40,000 traffic fatalities in 2016, the NHTSA estimates that just under 10 percent can be attributed to distracted driving. In all, 3,450 Americans lost their lives in distracted driving accidents throughout 2016.

Distracted driving is defined as an activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road, such as having a conversation with a passenger, eating a meal, or sending a text message. If you or a loved one is injured in a motor vehicle accident and believe distracted driving was the cause, contact our experienced team of Waukegan personal injury attorneys to discuss your case and your options.

Consider the following tips to help ensure you do your part to help end the distracted driving crisis in our country. 

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Posted on in Fatigued Driver

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,It is easy to associate impaired driving car accident statistics with drunk driving or driving under the influence of other drugs, but drowsy vehicle operation is another form of impaired driving that is equally as dangerous. Drowsy driving includes everything from inattention to the wheel, lack of alertness, and slowed reaction time, as well as the inability to make good judgements or quick decisions while behind the wheel.

What the Research Shows

According to the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study (NMVCCS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drivers involved in crashes who are found to be drowsy are twice as likely to make errors behind the wheel than drivers who are not tired. While accidents due to sleepiness occur both during the day and during the night, studies done on drowsy driving through the NHTSA show that most drowsy driving crashes typically happen when there are dips in our circadian rhythm, such as between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. and the late afternoon. This internal clock that regulates our sleep is shown to impact our overall alertness on the road and can significantly change our reflexes behind the wheel. Who Is Most at Risk? Anyone can make the mistake of driving while they are too tired, but there are certain drivers who are more prone to causing drowsy driving accidents, including the following:

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Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car crash lawyer, teenage drinking and driving,Alcohol has long been considered the most dangerous factor that impairs drivers on the road. According to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and as reported by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD),the rate of drunk driving is highest among young drivers — 23.4 percent of all reported drunk drivers are 21 to 25 years old. This is likely because of social norms that dictate young adults are the most common bar patrons; it may also have to do with the fact that younger drivers may not yet have systems in place to ensure that a designated driver is present.

The numbers are even more dire for drivers who are not even yet technically legal to drink ever: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers aged 16 to 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have an illegal blood alcohol content (above .08 percent) than if they were not drinking at all.

It is not all bad news when it comes to teens and drinking, however. The CDC reports that since 1991, the percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has declined 54 percent. While this is a significant decline, the CDC also reports that in 2011 nearly 1 million teens drank and drove.

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