Personal Injury Lawyers in Baltimore: You’re Getting Sleepy…July 30, 2012
Since personal injury lawsuits first highlighted the dangers of distracted driving, people have become familiar with the term. Used mainly to describe unsafe use of electronic devices, distracted driving applies to any condition that reduces attention to the road — like fatigue.
Take this quiz. How did you score? Drowsy driving is usually discussed in relation to long-haul commercial truck drivers, but is just as dangerous to you, your neighbor or the car weaving frighteningly close to you on the highway. The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) reports 34 people died in over 24,000 inattentive driver-influenced collisions in 2008.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), characteristics of a fatigued driving crash include the following:
- Usually involves a single car leaving the roadway
- Involves only the driver
- Involves serious or fatal injury
- Occurs in late afternoon, or late at night
- Occurs on larger roads and involves high speed
- Slim evidence that driver engaged in avoidance tactics
Risk factors for drowsy driving include:
- Experiencing sleep cycle disruption, such as shift work
- Consumption of alcohol
- Use of sedating medications — prescribed or over-the-counter
- Long distance driving without interruption, such as on a road trip or as employment
- Being older or being a younger driver — especially males between 16 and 29
Driving a car requires eyes and mind on the road, and your hands on the wheel. If tired, take a break – it may save your life. Contact the personal injury lawyers in Baltimore at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. immediately if you have been injured in a crash involving fatigued driving.