Fatigued driving is dangerous driving. Approximately 328,000 drowsy driving accidents are reported in the United States every year, according to data published by the National Safety Council (NSC). To put this number in perspective, this means that fatigue is a factor in more than 10 percent of all traffic collisions in our country.
All Florida drivers have a legal responsibility to ensure that they are physically and mentally capable of operating their vehicle in a safe manner. Among other things, this includes getting enough rest before getting behind the wheel. Driving while drowsy is negligence.
If you or your loved one was injured by a fatigued driver, contact the experienced Gainesville car accident lawyers at Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., right away. We can meet with you in a free consultation and explain all your legal options.
Common Signs of Fatigued or Drowsy Driving
One of the ways to identify whether the driver who hit you was drowsy is to be aware of the signs of fatigue. Although you are more likely to come across a drowsy driver early in the morning or late at night, fatigued driving accidents can happen at any time of day. Some of the most common signs of drowsy driving are:
- Lane Drifting. Drivers should be able to stay in their lane. When you see a vehicle slowly drifting out of a lane, it is often an indication that a driver is sleep-deprived — especially if you see them quickly correct the drift, only to have it happen again.
- Loss of Concentration. A common symptom of drowsy driving is the loss of the ability to concentrate on the road. A driver who seems to be making errors associated with distraction may be nodding off.
- Constant Yawning. Excessive yawning is almost always an indication of fatigue. One yawn may not be meaningful, but multiple yawns in a short period of time suggest some level of drowsiness.
- Variations of Driving Speed. Drivers who are varying their speed for seemingly no reason are typically not paying very close attention to the task at hand. In many cases, this is an indication of drowsy driving.
How Drowsy Driving Compares to Drugs and Alcohol
A drowsy driver may be creating as much danger as an intoxicated driver. Both intoxication and drowsiness are associated with the following impairments:
- Loss of the ability to concentrate
- Reduced reaction time
- Poor decision making
A driver who has gone 24 hours with little or no sleep has reduced capabilities that are similar to that of a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.10, according to the National Sleep Foundation. In other words, a sleep-deprived driver is putting the health and safety of innocent people at risk in much the same manner as an intoxicated driver.
Seeking Compensation After a Crash with a Drowsy Driver
Under Florida law, injured auto accident victims are entitled to financial relief for the full value of their losses after a crash caused by a negligent driver. Unfortunately, in practice, recovering fair compensation can be challenging. The large insurance companies that handle the majority of drowsy driving accident claims fight aggressively to settle for the lowest dollar amount possible.
At Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., our Gainesville drowsy driving accident attorneys have the skills and experience to help injured victims fight for maximum financial recovery. If you were hurt in a fatigued driving crash, you may be eligible to recover damages for:
- Emergency room care
- Medical expenses and other related costs
- Physical therapy and rehabilitative treatment
- Vehicle repairs
- Loss of current and future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Long-term disability or impairment
- Scarring or disfigurement
If you lost a loved one in a drowsy driving accident, you may be entitled to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
Steps to Take After a Gainesville Fatigued Driving Accident
After a traffic accident, it is crucial that you take the proper measures to protect your health, safety, financial interests, and legal rights. A fatigued driver who causes an accident must be held accountable. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to do so.
To protect yourself and your right to full and fair financial compensation after a drowsy driving accident, please be sure to take the following five steps:
- Stop your vehicle, call 911, and exchange information. Unless there is a medical emergency, do not leave the scene of a serious accident until a law enforcement officer arrives. Get the other driver’s name, insurance details, and contact information.
- Seek a medical evaluation. Car accident injuries require professional medical attention. In addition to getting proper healthcare to protect your well-being, you must see a doctor in order to bring a personal injury claim. Medical records will be an important part of the evidence in your case.
- Secure relevant evidence. If you were hurt in a drowsy driving accident in Gainesville, you should also take proactive steps to retain relevant evidence. Among other things, take pictures of the accident, get contact information for witnesses, and write down notes about the crash.
- Call a drowsy driving accident lawyer: Finally, you should call a Gainesville car accident attorney before giving any statement to an insurance company representative. Drowsy driving accidents can sometimes be difficult to prove. You need an experienced legal professional on your side.
Contact Our Gainesville Fatigued Driving Accident Lawyers Now
At Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., our Florida fatigued driving accident lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of crash victims. If you or your family member was hurt in a collision with an overly tired driver, we are here to help.
To schedule a free, no obligation case evaluation, please contact our law firm today. From our law office in Gainesville, we serve communities throughout North Florida, including Newberry, Alachua, Waldo, Hawthorne, and High Springs.