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Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer in Kissimmee

At The Ward Law Group, we sympathize with all victims of car accidents resulting from extreme fatigue or sleep problems in drivers.

We want to share some valuable information about fatigued driving and its implications and consequences.

Drowsy Driving Accidents in Kissimmee

Fatigue significantly risks Americans' safety, well-being, and overall quality of life. Whether induced by sleep deprivation due to caring for a newborn, working extended shifts, socializing late into the night, or embarking on lengthy holiday travels, the consequences remain dire.

Fatigue impairs cognitive function and performance, leading to motor vehicle accidents, workplace incidents, and health complications.

Addressing this issue is challenging in a society prioritizing round-the-clock productivity, with extended work hours, lengthy commutes, and pervasive technological advancements.

Many individuals struggle to obtain adequate sleep amid these demands. Effectively combating drowsy driving necessitates fundamental shifts in societal attitudes and behaviors toward sleep and Fatigue.

Despite its prevalence, accurately quantifying the extent of drowsy-driving-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities remains elusive. Crash investigators may attempt to identify signs of drowsiness contributing to an accident, yet conclusive evidence is often lacking.

 While NHTSA estimates approximately 91,000 police-reported crashes involving drowsy drivers in 2017, this figure likely underrepresents the true impact of drowsy driving.

Crashes and Fatalities

Drowsy-driving accidents exhibit distinct patterns, often occurring:

  • During the late-night hours or late afternoon, coinciding with dips in the circadian rhythm.
  • Involving solitary drivers veering off the road at high speeds, with minimal evidence of braking.
  • The risk of such incidents is heightened along rural roads and highways.

Tips to Drive Alert

Safeguarding against drowsy driving begins with prioritizing adequate sleep, aiming for seven to eight hours per night. Essential tips include:

  • Prioritizing rest before embarking on extended car trips, especially for families.
  • Educating teenagers on the dangers of driving while fatigued and encouraging sufficient rest before driving.
  • Abstaining from alcohol consumption before driving, as it exacerbates drowsiness.
  • Monitoring medication labels for potential side effects, including drowsiness.
  • Avoid driving during peak sleepiness periods, mainly between midnight and 6 a.m.

Short-Term Interventions

While coffee or energy drinks may offer temporary relief, they do not substitute for adequate rest. If drowsiness sets in while driving, consuming one to two cups of coffee and taking a brief 20-minute nap at a designated rest stop can temporarily enhance alertness.

NHTSA in Action

NHTSA remains committed to eradicating drowsy driving through collaborative efforts with key stakeholders and initiatives such as:

  • Strategic planning to address drowsy driving across multiple focus areas.
  • Convening forums to foster dialogue and collaboration among diverse organizations.

Resources

Explore additional resources on drowsy driving from reputable sources, including:

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
  • Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

Join the National Sleep Foundation in November for Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, a campaign to reduce the incidence of drowsy driving crashes.

By raising awareness, adopting preventive measures, and promoting responsible driving habits, we can collectively combat drowsy driving and safeguard lives on our nation's roads.

Taking Action After a Fatigue-Induced Collision

Based on drowsy driving statistics, Fatigue driving ranks among the leading causes of auto accidents in Florida, alongside speeding and drunk driving. Each year, over 3,000 car crashes in Florida stem from drivers experiencing Fatigue, leading to loss of vehicle control and devastating wrecks.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) underscores the dangers of driving while fatigued, citing impaired judgment, delayed reactions, and compromised vision akin to the effects of alcohol consumption.

 High-speed vehicles become lethal instruments when operated by fatigued drivers lacking full alertness and attentiveness.

Understanding Fatigued Driving

The signs and consequences of fatigued driving, as outlined by the CDC, encompass:

  • Sluggish responses to changing road conditions or fellow drivers.
  • Momentary lapses of consciousness, resulting in brief periods of nodding off.
  • Drifting across lanes without awareness.
  • Restricted peripheral vision leads to a narrowed awareness of surroundings.
  • Memory lapses regarding recent stretches of driving.

Upon experiencing these indicators, drivers must promptly pull over and ensure they are well-rested before resuming their journey.

 Before embarking on trips, drivers should prioritize adequate rest and avoid medications that induce drowsiness. Employers of commercial drivers, such as over-the-road truckers, bear responsibility for ensuring sufficient rest during their employees' trips.

Navigating Post-"Fatigued Driving" Accident Procedures

Regrettably, even with diligent precautions to remain alert behind the wheel, drivers cannot control the actions of others.

A tired driver may veer across lanes, run red lights, neglect to brake or commit other dangerous acts while driving. In such instances, specific crucial steps must be taken:

  • Notify law enforcement and ensure an accident report is compiled. A comprehensive police report documenting accident details, driver statements, and vehicle damage assessments is vital evidence for insurance and legal claims.
  • Inform your insurance provider promptly, detailing the circumstances of the incident, mainly if caused by another party's fatigued driving. Depending on your policy, deductible waivers may apply if you were an innocent traffic collision victim.
  • Seek guidance from a seasoned auto accident attorney. If you sustained injuries and vehicle damage due to a tired driver on Florida's roads, you possess legal rights and may be entitled to financial compensation under specific conditions.
  • Establishing liability in fatigued driving cases presents unique challenges, requiring evidence such as eyewitness accounts, driver statements, medication usage, work shifts, and physical evidence like tire tracks or vehicle data records. 

Not all legal practitioners can handle these complex cases, necessitating considerable time and resources to analyze the difference between drowsy and drunk driving.

At The Ward Law Group, we have extensive experience navigating such matters and are prepared to advocate for accident victims' legal rights.

Fighting Back Against Drowsy Driving Accidents in Florida

Every year, Florida witnesses thousands of motor vehicle accidents stemming from drowsy driving incidents. When drivers succumb to Fatigue or nod off behind the wheel, the repercussions can be severe, even fatal.

Recognizing the gravity of this issue, the Florida Legislature designated September as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, aiming to raise awareness and honor the memory of 8-year-old Ronshay Dugans, who was tragically killed when her school bus was struck by a driver who had fallen asleep.

Root Causes of Drowsy Driving

As outlined by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), drowsy driving primarily stems from two key factors: inadequate sleep before operating a vehicle and driving during typical sleeping hours. During these periods, drivers often experience diminished focus and heightened susceptibility to dozing off at the wheel.

Consequences of Drowsy Driving

Fatigued drivers commonly exhibit delayed reaction times and may neglect defensive driving practices or fail to remain aware of road conditions. Vision and perception may also be compromised due to drowsiness, posing significant risks of collisions caused by momentary lapses in attention.

Preventing Drowsy Driving Incidents

Prioritizing sufficient rest is paramount in preventing drowsy driving and averting the risk of falling asleep while driving. If driving after inadequate sleep, vigilance regarding personal functioning is essential.

Should signs of Fatigue emerge, such as loss of focus or impaired vision, drivers must promptly pull over and rest before continuing their journey.

Allocating ample time for travel reduces stress and allows for breaks as needed. Additional preventive measures include sharing driving responsibilities with passengers, consuming caffeine for heightened alertness, and avoiding driving during typical sleep hours.

Understanding Liability in Drowsy Driving Florida Car Accidents

In Florida, many drivers face exhaustion, overwork, or extreme Fatigue, posing a severe risk on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's alarming statistics reveal nearly 700 annual fatalities resulting from drowsy driving accidents, a figure likely underestimated.

Unlike alcohol impairment, detecting driver fatigue proves challenging despite its comparable effects. Studies suggest nearly 40,000 accident-related injuries annually in the U.S. stem from drowsy driving incidents.

Recent tragedies in Florida underscore the lethal consequences of drowsy driving, as exemplified by a fatal overnight highway crash involving three individuals, including two sisters, returning from vacation.

Authorities speculate driver fatigue is the underlying cause, highlighting the dangers, particularly during late-night hours.

The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Driving Abilities

According to the Sleep Foundation, drowsiness profoundly affects drivers' judgment, coordination, attention, vigilance, decision-making, and reaction times.

Fatigued drivers often exhibit erratic behavior, such as weaving between lanes, maintaining improper speeds, failing to keep a safe distance from other vehicles, delayed reactions to obstacles, and veering off the road.

Notably, studies equate drowsy driving with drunk driving, emphasizing the comparable risks.

Research indicates that being awake for 20 consecutive hours impairs drivers equivalently to a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08%. Even obtaining 6-7 hours of sleep, rather than the recommended 8, doubles the likelihood of an accident, further escalating with less than 5 hours of sleep.

Determining Responsibility for Drowsy Driver Accidents

As seasoned car accident attorneys at The Ward Law Group, we handle cases involving drowsy driving, encompassing passenger and commercial vehicles. While all drivers are susceptible to Fatigue, commercial drivers, particularly truckers, face heightened risks due to extended hauls and stringent schedules.

Federal regulations mandate hourly caps for truck drivers, yet compliance doesn't eliminate fatigue risks. Proving a driver's drowsiness isn't always necessary to establish negligence in a Florida car accident case.

Violations of traffic laws, such as lane maintenance or failure to maintain a safe distance, suffice to assign liability for resulting injuries, irrespective of drowsiness.

Employers of negligent drivers may also bear vicarious liability if their employees acted negligently within their employment scope. Evidence revealing violations of federal hours-of-service laws or encouraging employees to exceed safe limits can incur additional penalties.

Contact a Kissimmee Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer

Navigating the aftermath of an accident and its repercussions can be daunting. Understanding the subsequent steps can prove perplexing and overwhelming.

Our dedicated team of Kissimmee auto accident lawyers at The Ward Law Group stands ready to provide steadfast guidance throughout the legal process and explore all available recourse avenues.

Initiate your journey towards justice by contacting us at 855-DOLOR-55 or completing our online case questionnaire today.