What do you do when you’ve been in a car accident, and it’s your fault? There is an assumption that most car accidents are a result of drunk driving. The reality of these situations is that drowsy driving and distracted driving can be just as fatal as driving under the influence.
The first thing to remember after you have been in a car accident is to not panic, as there are lawyers who specialize in car accident claims. While you may wish to just let your car insurance company handle the details of cleaning up after the accident, it might be worthwhile to consider consulting legal advocates. This is especially true if the accident occurred when you were working.
Here are the numbers on car accidents in the U.S. There are about 6 million car accidents on the roads every year, 3 million people of the people in those accidents are injured as a result. In global terms, roughly 1.2 million people die from their driving injuries each year.
These accidents were not all caused by drunk driving. Drowsy driving can be more insidious, as our culture can at times idealize those who work very hard, almost to the point of glamorizing exhaustion. The eponymous website on all facts about driving while tired, drowsydriving.org states that the age group of 18 to 29 year olds is most at risk.
There is a link between some lifestyle choices and the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Parents, shift workers, and those who sleep fewer than seven hours a night are all more likely to be in a crash due to drowsy driving. A person’s perception is simply impaired, and what is alarming about it is that they are largely unaware.
You might have heard that being very tired is not dissimilar to being drunk. This is actually true. One study conducted by scientists in Australia examined participants perceived impairment level after staying awake for 18 hours. Doing so proved to be as incapacitating as a blood alcohol (BAC) level of 0.5.
When the test administrators pushed participants to 24 hours of being awake, their impairment was on par with a BAC of .10. The legal limit is below 0.8. While not many people would choose to drive after being awake for 24 hours, there are plenty who have. The risks of drowsy driving need to be just as well-known as drunk driving, as the effect is often the same.
Most people either prefer to or are required to drive to work instead of taking public transportation. Others have jobs as drivers, which makes being well-rested an real safety requirement. It is important to remember that drowsy driving can have the same effect as drunk driving: property damage, injuries, and at the worst of times, fatalities.
While the clear answer to this problem is to make getting enough sleep a priority, for many drivers that may not be enough. For one reason or another, it is becoming more common for adults to get well-under the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. Yet, being well-rested before getting behind the wheel might be almost as important as being sober behind the wheel.
There are lawyers who specialize in car accidents. No one means to fall asleep at the wheel, but you might need to prove more than good intentions if a case is brought against you. In a bad situation, it is important to remember to not panic. Should you find yourself in a position such as this, consider the legal services of an attorney who has dealt with this sort of problem before to help your case.