Virginia fatigued driver car accident attorneys
When you get on the road, you know to keep an eye out for drivers who speed, swerve, or otherwise seem dangerous. It may not cross your mind to worry about drivers who are tired, but they are a major danger in the Commonwealth.
In the United States, drowsy driving caused more than 83,000 car accidents over five years and took the lives of more than 5,000 people. A study involving Northern Virginia and DC Metro drivers found that 12% of crashes were caused at least in part by driver fatigue.
Fatigued driving is 100% preventable – so long as people do not push themselves to drive when they are too tired. If a driver feels like his eyes are drooping, he should pull over and rest. Tired drivers are at risk for running off the road and injuring themselves, but they are just as likely to hit another driver or pedestrian.
We at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys hope that one day, no one has to suffer in a car accident. But when our neighbors are injured, we consider it our duty to fight for them. Fatigued driving is a menace that can wound victims and leave them buried in medical debt. Our Virginia fatigued car accident attorneys can work to get you full compensation for your injuries and help you get back on your feet. Call us today at (804) 409-2517 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 to get a free case evaluation.
Anybody can get tired. But sometimes people who are driving don’t even recognize the symptoms of fatigue. Maybe it’s because they are almost home, or perhaps they have felt a little drowsy before and they still made it to their destination without a problem. Unfortunately, it only takes one time when you fall asleep or lose concentration and cause an accident before you realize that you should have taken a break.
Common reasons why people get fatigued while driving include:
- Lack of sleep. A lot of people like to take pride in how busy they are and how hard they are working. But it’s also important to take good care of yourself, so you can be there for the people who care about you. Making sure you get of enough sleep every night is an essential part of fulfilling your obligation to others.
- Driving long distances. When you schedule a trip, make sure to take enough rest breaks to keep everybody safe. You can also allow a partner to share in the driving responsibilities, so it doesn’t become too much of a burden.
- Sleep disorders. If you’re getting to bed on time every night but you still feel drowsy during the day, you may be suffering from sleep apnea or some other type of medical issue. Talk to your doctor right away to find out if there’s an underlying problem that could be affecting your health.
- You are out of your sleep cycle. If you are someone who maintains a regular sleep schedule, driving late at night or early in the morning could be a problem.
- Driving alone. Having other passengers in the car to monitor your condition will reduce your chances of nodding off while driving.
Driving while tired presents the same dangers as driving while drunk. Both types of drivers have slower reaction times and a harder time paying attention and can cause serious accidents. Driving after being awake for more than 20 hours is just as deadly as driving with a 0.08% blood alcohol content level. In fact, if someone drives while he’s tired, he is three times more likely to be involved in a car accident.
What makes fatigued driving so dangerous is how common it is. More than 40% of drivers have admitted to driving while tired, and 20% have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. Every driver knows it is dangerous to drive drowsy, but many still choose to get behind the wheel and put others at risk.
Fatigued driving is also one of the reasons commercial truck drivers have to take rest breaks. For years, truck drivers could drive non-stop through the night, but that led to numerous crashes. Now, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all truckers to take regular rest breaks, according to the Federal Hours of Service (HOS). Unfortunately, fatigued truckers are still a danger on Virginia roads. More than 950 people died in truck accidents across the Commonwealth over 10 years. All of these deaths were preventable.
The first step is educating yourself about the dangers of fatigued driving and learning to change your habits.
We know that many drivers in Virginia work long hours and have to drive long distances to get to work. While your livelihood may depend on it, you can consider adjusting your schedule if possible to get more sleep. Many people do not get a good night’s sleep – at least seven hours for adults. But adding a few more hours can dramatically improve your health.
Other ways you can help prevent drowsy driving accidents include:
- Talk to your co-workers about carpooling to make sure you all get enough rest.
- Speak to your doctor about any medication you are taking. Many over-the-counter drugs can cause drowsiness and shouldn’t be taken before getting behind the wheel.
- Sit down with your teen driver and explain the dangers of fatigued driving. Teen drivers and college students are involved in 50% of all fatigued driving accidents.
- Avoid driving between midnight and six in the morning – when most drowsy driving accidents occur.
- If you start yawning, nodding off, or have difficulty paying attention while driving, safely pull over to a rest stop and take a break. It could save your life.
If you were injured by a fatigued driver, then you may be able to recover compensation. The driver who hit you is responsible for paying for your medical bills, lost wages, and the other costs of your injuries. Typically, this means filing a claim with his insurance company. If the other driver does not have insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage, which is required in Virginia.
But before you contact an insurance adjuster about your claim, it is vital that you speak to an attorney. An insurance adjuster may seem friendly, but he can work to diminish your claim. Insurance companies make money by cutting costs, and this includes refusing to pay victims after car accidents.
By working with GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, you can trust that your case will be handled by professionals. We know how difficult it is to get compensation after an accident and can provide the legal support you need to get back on your feet. We handle all the heavy lifting of filing a claim so you can focus on healing.
Our partners, Ken Gibson and John Singleton, know firsthand what it’s like to be an injury victim. We’ve experienced the frustrations that our clients face. That’s why we do everything possible to make the legal process easy for you.
If you were involved in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, your personal injury attorney will conduct a full investigation to find out what happened. For example, if another driver suddenly swerved into your lane for no reason, fatigued driving may have been a factor.
If the accident occurred late at night or early in the morning, that’s another indicator that fatigued driving may have been a contributing factor. For accidents caused by truck drivers, your attorney can check the driver’s logs to see if they were taking their required (HOS) breaks. If the driver was working for any type of company, your attorney can find out whether they have a history of hiring unqualified or negligent drivers.
Blood alcohol tests will determine if the driver was intoxicated, and physical evidence such as skid marks can also help determine the driver’s state of mind and level of attention when the accident occurred.
Our hearts go out to everyone who has been injured in a fatigued driving accident. There is no excuse for putting others in danger, and if you were injured by a fatigued driver, you deserve full compensation for your suffering.
Let our Virginia car accident attorneys sit down with you in a free consultation and guide you through the process of filing an accident claim. We do not just fight aggressively for our clients – we fight smart. We know exactly how insurance companies think, and we can counter their tactics.
Call us at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 today to learn how we can help you after a crash. Ask about our Zero Fee Guarantee – we get paid when you get paid.
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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.