Everyone has heard of the dangers posed by drunk driving and driving while texting. Yet, there is another type of driving that is just as dangerous but not discussed nearly as much: drowsy driving. According to federal statistics a ten year period spanning from 2000 to 2010 saw more than 11,000 deaths attributable to driving while drowsy. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found four percent of American adults fell asleep behind the wheel in the previous month. When a tired driver causes a car accident the results can be tragic.
While criminal statutes levy penalties against a drunk driver, there are no such laws in Tennessee for tired drivers. This makes it very difficult for prosecutors to take these dangerous, negligent drivers off the road. Even if such a law did exist in Tennessee, the criminal courts would do nothing as far as covering the costs a victim must wrestle with as a result of the accident.
An auto accident caused by a negligent driver can leave a victim with catastrophic injuries including brain and/or neck injuries. The physical aspect of recovering from such a personal injury is likely more than one can handle on his own. Yet, obtaining professional medical and rehabilitative care can be very expensive. For some, the only way to pay for this care is to file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.
Once a car accident victim succeeds on a claim against another driver, she may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Then, the victim can hire the professionals she needs to make life as close to normal as possible.
Additionally, a personal injury lawsuit against a drowsy driver is a major way to bring the issue to the forefront. Such a lawsuit can remove a tired, negligent driver from the road and put other motorists on notice that drowsy driving will not be tolerated.
Source: My Fox 28, "Is Drousy Driving Worse than Drunk Drunk Driving," May 13, 2013