Sleep Deprivation And Car Accidents

The risk of crashing because of sleep deprivation is much higher than the risk of driving while you are on enough sleep. Many people don't think about these things, but instead consider themselves safe to drive simply because they aren't under the influence. However, sleep deprivation can be just as bad. Here's what you should know to become an even more responsible driver:

  • Check for Symptoms: As a driver on the road, you should know when someone is driving dangerously and possibly sleep deprived. These signs include drifting or even nodding while driving, which is a sure sign of drowsiness. If you notice these things, you want to avoid this driver at all costs and alert authorities because they are a danger to themselves and others. Possibly take down their license plate number if possible in order to alert the authorities with the best amount of information possible. 
  • Know When You are Drowsy: If you are exhibiting signs of drowsiness yourself, you should know when this is occurring so that you can pull over and get some rest before continuing your drive. If you are driving a great distance, this is of course a sure sign that you need to either switch drivers so you can sleep or get a hotel for some needed shut eye. These signs include not remembering the last few miles of driving, zoning out on certain sections of the road, or even just feeling the need to drink coffee in a later part of the day because you are feeling tired. 
  • Judgement is Impaired: The reason drowsiness is so potentially fatal when driving on the road is because lack of sleep causes your judgment to be impaired. This is extremely dangerous while on the road since there are many situations in which you need to react quickly. You also need to make good judgement calls on when to switch lanes, make safe turns, and more. 
  • It's Difficult to Prove: Keep in mind that it's difficult to prove a driver to be sleep deprived. If you are involved in an accident with another person and it's difficult to say who was at fault, be sure that you check for signs that the person is sleep deprived, which could help in your case. This includes witness statements of that driver's behavior on the road and exhibits of exhaustion, such as nodding off while awaiting for the police to arrive after the accident. Be sure to hire an experienced lawyer to help with this as well. 

​With these things in mind, you can see why sleep deprivation is so dangerous and how it can actually be used in cases when you have been injured due to another driver having a lack of sleep while on the road. Contact a law firm, like Campbell, Dille, Barnett & Smith, P.L.L.C., for more help.