If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident on one of Arizona’s many highways, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with a good highway accident lawyer from Mesa, AZ.
The Dangers of Drowsy and Drunk Driving
Drowsy driving by long-distance truckers is a well-known problem and as a result, driving limits have been put in place to for professional truck drivers. A study by the University of Utah School of Medicine found that the negative aspects of trucking such as stress, long hours, heavy lifting, and lack of sleep and exercise may contribute to higher crash risks for truckers.
Unfortunately, driving while fatigued is also an issue among the general public. A highway accident lawyer in Mesa may be able to represent you in your AZ accident by investigating who is at fault and pursuing a claim for damages that are the result of your accident.
An American Automobile Association (AAA) survey found that one-third of respondents had been so tired while driving (in the month prior to the survey) that they had trouble keeping their eyes open. An estimated sixty percent of adults in the US have driven while drowsy, and approximately one-third of people have actually fallen asleep at the wheel.
Driving drowsy can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to National Sleep Foundation research, if a driver has been awake for 24 hours and gets behind the wheel, the level of impairment is similar to having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .10 (.08 is the legal limit). Getting behind the wheel after 18 hours awake is like driving with a BAC of .05.
The dangers of drunk driving are well known and alarming. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities account for approximately 29% of total traffic fatalities. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, have reported that the number of drunk and drugged driving fatalities rose last year.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults sleep seven to nine hours per day. Its survey found that 30 percent of employed adults averaged six hours or less of sleep per night.
Like the effects of alcohol, drowsiness makes drivers less able to pay attention to the road, it slows reaction time, and it affects a driver’s decision-making ability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers. A highway accident lawyer from Mesa, AZ may be able to advise an injured party regarding possible claims for compensation, medical bills, economic losses and for injuries the victim sustained.
Signs of Drowsiness
The CDC states that signs of drowsy driving include:
- Yawning or blinking frequently.
- Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven.
- Missing your exit.
- Drifting from your lane.
- Hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road.
If you have been injured in an accident on the highway in Mesa or anyplace in AZ, a lawyer may be able to help.
Here are further National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) tips to fight fatigue and stay safe behind the wheel:
- Get ample sleep before driving.
- Many teens do not get enough sleep. This makes them vulnerable to the risk of drowsy-driving crashes, especially on longer trips. Advise your teens to delay driving until they’re well-rested.
- Avoid drinking any alcohol before driving. Consumption of alcohol interacts with sleepiness to increase drowsiness and impairment.
- Always check your prescription and over-the-counter medication labels to see if drowsiness could result from their use.
When serious injuries occur following an accident caused by the negligence of another party a highway accident lawyer should be consulted to discuss potential fault and damages claims, and remedies.
For a reliable highway accident lawyer from Mesa, AZ, contact the Law Office of Paul Englander, PLC.