Drowsy driving is a major cause of Florida car accidents. Indeed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving killed 795 people in 2017 alone. However, because this data relies only on police and hospital reports, traffic safety experts, sleep scientists, and public health organizations all agree that the actual number of deaths caused by drowsy driving is much higher.
The NHTSA has identified several characteristics that are common among drowsy driving accidents. For example, these accidents typically involve vehicles occupied only by the driver and occur in the late night/early morning hours or the midafternoon. They also usually involve one vehicle drifting off the road at a high speed, without the driver making any attempt at avoiding the collision. Needless to say, these accidents are also almost always catastrophic, frequently resulting in serious injury or death.
Perhaps the most common cause of drowsy driving is a motorist’s lack of sleep. Thus, overnight workers are at unusually high risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. There is also evidence that unrecognized sleep disorders cause a significant number of drowsy driving accidents. Also, the ingestion of alcohol or certain medications may also result in a sudden onset of extreme fatigue.
Drivers who realize they are getting sleepy have a duty to let someone else drive or pull over and get some rest. A driver’s failure to take these necessary precautions exposes other motorists to great risk, and can be the basis of a Florida personal injury lawsuit.
Florida Woman Dies after Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel
Earlier this month, a Florida mother of five was killed in a single-vehicle accident when she fell asleep behind the wheel. According to a local news report, the woman had just finished an overnight shift at St. Vincent’s South hospital in Jacksonville and was on her way home. Evidently, the woman began to doze off, and her car drifted off the side of the road. When she woke up, she overcorrected, resulting in her car veering off the road and landing in a ditch. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman’s husband told reporters that she had worked two back-to-back overnight shifts in the hospital’s cardiac unit. No one else was injured in the accident.
Have You Been Injured in a Florida Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Depending on the nature of your injuries and the circumstances of the crash, you may be eligible to receive damages for your past and future medical expenses and lost wages, as well as for any pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case, call 800-753-5529 today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
See Additional Blog Posts:
Florida Court Holds Landowner Can Be Liable for Injuries, Even Though the Hazard Was “Open and Obvious”, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, February 11, 2019.
The Importance of Naming All Potentially Liable Parties in a Florida Car Accident Case, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, published January 23, 2019