man driving rubbing eyes

How Can Drowsy Driving Lead to Car Accidents in California?

It is recommended that adults receive a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, many lack sufficient sleep which can lead to drowsy driving and subsequent crashes. If you are unaware of why driving while tired is dangerous, you will want to continue reading. Additionally, you will discover what you should do if you have sustained injuries from a driver you believe was sleep-deprived or asleep and why you should connect with our Irvine car accident lawyers to discuss your circumstances.

What Are the Dangers of Drowsy Driving?

While many assume that driving while tired is not that dangerous, studies show that drivers who have not slept in twenty hours display similar levels of impairment as someone who is at the legal limit for intoxication. Essentially, driving while sleep-deprived is just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Drivers who have not gotten adequate sleep will experience slower reaction times and clouded judgment. Similarly, if a driver is drowsy, they may drift in and out of lanes or miss upcoming stop signs.

Additionally, when a driver is sleep deprived, they may experience something known as “micro-sleeps.” These occur when a driver falls asleep for two to five-second periods. In many cases, drivers are unaware they are losing consciousness when experiencing micro-sleeps.

What Are the Signs of Sleep Deprivation While Driving?

Drivers should be aware of the signs of sleep deprivation to help prevent collisions. Generally, drivers who feel like they cannot keep their eyes open or hold their heads up should pull over. Additionally, if someone cannot remember the last few minutes of driving, this is a sign of brain fog. Brain fog is a symptom of exhaustion, indicating that a driver should stop and pull into a safe area to rest.

What Should I Do if I Think the Driver Who Injured Me Was Sleeping?

If you were involved in a collision and have reason to believe the negligent driver was asleep, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

Witnesses who saw the accident occur may be able to provide affirmatory statements that they saw the driver sleeping in the moments leading up to the collision. For example, if their head was hung down or rolled to the side, this can help provide additional confirmation that the driver was sleeping. Additionally, if you have a dashboard camera, this may have captured footage of the unconscious driver.

Injuries sustained at the hands of a sleep-deprived driver can be devastating for those involved. When combined with trying to pursue compensation for injuries, an injured driver may become overwhelmed. As such, it is imperative to connect with an experienced attorney from the California Personal Injury Law Firm, APC. Our firm can assess your case and handle the legal complexities of this matter so you can focus on healing.

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