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Tired driving can lead to serious car accidents

Some motorists in Tennessee have driven while tired. They may feel their eyelids get heavy, their muscles relax and their concentration waning. Though most motorists are well aware of the dangers of drunk and drugged driving, few realize that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous, and oftentimes leaves unsuspecting and innocent motorists with undeserved injuries.

The facts surrounding drowsy driving are scary. One study found that about 168 million Americans have admitted to driving while drowsy over the last year. That accounts for 60 percent of the population. Making it even more concerning is the fact that, unlike drunk and drugged drivers, there are no tests to determine when a motorist is too sleepy to drive. Also, since drowsy driving isn't criminalized in the way that drunk driving is, the estimate of tired drivers on the road may be lower than what is actually the case.

Drowsy driving can strike anyone. Men are more likely than women to drive drowsy, but so, too, are those who have children. Young adults, those between the ages of 18 and 29, as well as overnight workers are also more likely to drive while sleepy. This is worrisome news, as studies have found that those who get just one hour less than the recommended eight hours of sleep per night are twice as likely to get in a wreck. Those who only receive five hours or less of sleep face an even more significant risk of being involved in an accident.

Those who cause an injurious or fatal accident due to their fatigue may be held liable through a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, those who have suffered physical, emotional or financial damages as a result of an accident caused by a tired driver may want to carefully consider their legal options. A civil action could help an injured victim recover compensation, helping them offset the losses and damages caused by a negligent driver.

Source: National Sleep Foundation, "Facts and Stats," July 29, 2016

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