Golitko & Daly

Car Accidents and Fatigue

By Matthew Golitko on May 30, 2019

A T-bone auto accidentThe legal team at Golitko & Daly knows how serious an impact a car accident can have on a household. Medical bills, vehicle damage, and other hardships associated with a crash can take their toll. That’s why Indianapolis, IN attorneys Matthew Golitko and John P. Daly take catastrophic collisions so seriously and will fight for clients every step of the way.

Auto accidents that result in catastrophic and fatal injuries have numerous causes, some of which you may not have considered. Driver fatigue, for example, is linked to tens of thousands of crashes each year. Let’s consider the dangers of drowsy driving below.

Alarming Statistics on Drowsy Driving

According to numbers from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver fatigue resulted in 795 deaths in 2017. The NHTSA estimated that around 90,000 motor vehicle collisions in 2015 were the result of driver fatigue and falling asleep behind the wheel.

Why are these numbers so high? Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shed light on these matters. The CDC found that 1 in 25 adult drivers have admitted to falling asleep while driving in the last 30 days.

Given these numbers, driver fatigue must be taken seriously by all motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in the greater Indianapolis area.

Why Driver Fatigue Is Dangerous

Driver fatigue is dangerous for a number of reasons. Falling asleep behind the wheel means losing control of your vehicle and also paying no attention to the road, traffic signals, nearby vehicles, and other surroundings. This can lead to single-vehicle and multi-car collisions.

Apart from falling asleep, though, drowsy driving poses countless dangers to motorists that are similar to drunk driving. Your reaction times are slower, and your reflexes and coordination may be sluggish from fatigue. Drowsiness also impacts your decision-making skills, which means you may not be driving as carefully as you would if you were rested.

Driver Fatigue in the Trucking Industry

Driver fatigue is a serious risk for people involved in the trucking industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notes that driver fatigue played a role in approximately 13 percent of commercial vehicle crashes. The long hours, late nights, and gradual exhaustion of driving all day can lead to dangerous conditions for truck drivers. This is why mandatory rests and breaks have been written into law.

Driver Fatigue Among Uber, Lyft, and Via Drivers

More people are relying on Uber, Lyft, Via, and other car service apps to get around these days. While these services have their benefits, it’s important to consider the role of fatigue among these drivers. Late nights and long shifts can increase the risks of collisions even among the safest drivers out there.

Tips to Avoid Driver Fatigue

In order to avoid driver fatigue, it’s important to consider the following helpful tips:

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Find somewhere to park and rest if your feel drowsy
  • Take breaks on long drives to get out of the vehicle and stretch
  • Avoid driving if you feel too tired to operate a vehicle

Who Is Liable in a Driver Fatigue Accident?

In cases of driver fatigue, the person who fell asleep behind the wheel could be considered negligent and liable for a motor vehicle collision. Our Indianapolis injury and accident lawyers can discuss your crash in greater detail during a legal consultation.

Learn More About Car Accident Litigation

To learn more about your legal options after a motor vehicle collision, be sure to contact our team of skilled injury accidents lawyers. The team at Golitko & Daly can be reached by phone at (317) 566-9600.

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