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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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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over a third of U.S. adults are sleep-deprived on a regular basis. Experts suggest that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night, but many of us are getting far less than that. Sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on concentration, reaction time, and coordination. Driving while sleep-deprived dramatically increases a person’s chances of being involved in an auto accident. According to research from AAA, missing just one or two hours of sleep doubles a driver’s chances of being involved in a car crash.

Drowsy Driving Thought to Be a Factor in 20 Percent of Fatal Car Accidents

When a driver is too tired to drive safely, he or she does not only put his or her own life at risk, he or she also endangers the lives of other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. Sleep-deprived truck drivers are especially worrisome. Although federal law mandates that truck drivers get a certain amount of sleep and take regular rest breaks on the road, many drivers do not adhere to these standards. Drivers may be expected to meet tight deadlines and may therefore skip sleep in order to meet these deadlines. Some truck drivers and trucking companies even falsify log books in order to conceal the fact that truck drivers drive while dangerously sleep-deprived.

Lawsuits Involving Sleep-Deprived Drivers

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident involving a driver who fell asleep at the wheel or was too sleepy to drive safely, you may be considering bringing a personal injury claim against the negligent party. Proving that a driver was too sleepy to drive safely can be difficult, but a personal injury lawyer can help. A lawyer can examine evidence, collaborate with experts such as accident reconstructionists, interview witnesses, and take other steps to gather support for your claim. Though a personal injury lawsuit you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you experienced as a result of the accident including compensation for medical bills, lost income, future medical costs, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and more.

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Lake County car accident lawyersWhen we think about negligent drivers, drunk driving or drugged driving often comes to mind. However, those under the influence of alcohol and drugs are not the only drivers who can cause serious and even deadly car accidents. In our busy world, about half of U.S. adults report not getting enough sleep at night. When a sleep-deprived driver gets behind the wheel of a car, the results can be catastrophic. In one survey, a shocking 40 percent of drivers admitted to actually falling asleep while driving at least once in their lifetime. Fatigued drivers who cause car accidents can be held legally responsible for the damages caused by the accident.

How Does Sleepiness Affect Driving?

If you are like most adults, you probably sleep fewer hours than you would like to. While it is extremely common, being sleep deprived can significantly harm your brain’s ability to properly function. Not getting adequate sleep can negatively affect cognition, alertness, decision-making, attention, and memory. 

One of the most common side effects of sleep deprivation is a slowed response speed which is especially dangerous for drivers. Being sleepy and being under the influence of alcohol can have a very similar effect on driving ability. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about one out of every six fatal car accidents is caused by a fatigued driver. About 72,000 car crashes were caused by sleepy drivers in 2013 alone.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysIt is not covered enough in the media, but fatigued driving is a major problem in Illinois and across the United States. The number of accidents and fatalities caused by fatigued driving is alarming. A drowsy or sleepy driver is as dangerous on the road as one who is under the influence of drugs and other controlled substances.

Reasons for Fatigued Driving

Fatigued driving usually occurs when a driver has not had enough sleep, but it also can happen when the driver has untreated sleep disorders, is taking medication, has alcohol in his or her body, or has worked long hours at work. For anyone who has experienced this, it is not easy to know the exact moment sleep takes over and you find yourself gone, albeit momentarily. Others may not be as lucky as falling asleep at the wheel can result in serious, even fatal accidents.

According to experts, it is not just falling asleep which is dangerous, your ability to drive safely is affected even if you are merely sleepy. As a result of being drowsy, a driver is prone to succumb to all manner of undesirables such as:

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Posted on in Fatigued Driver

drowsy drivingWith the holiday season behind us, the Chicagoland area is bustling again as we move further into the new year. Heading back into the routine of work life, commuters are once again braving for early morning journeys to work, and late afternoon treks back home.

Adjusting back into work life can be difficult post-holiday, most notably the re-adjustment back into one’s standard sleep pattern can be especially challenging. Unfortunately a disrupted sleep schedule can lead to more than a bad mood.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 37,000 people are injured each year in drowsy driving accidents. If you or a member of your family are involved in a late-night or early morning collision, it is important to contact an experienced Chicagoland personal injury attorney.

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