Drowsy Driving Car Accident Attorney in Baltimore
Exhausted drivers who choose to remain behind the wheel risk their own lives and the lives of other Baltimore motorists. Studies have found that half of all Americans admit to driving when sleepy, increasing their chance of causing a severe accident.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by a dangerously fatigued driver in Baltimore, you deserve justice. For over 40 years, Cohen & Dwin, P.A., has fought to protect the rights of injured people throughout Maryland. We put our efforts and resources into helping people like you recover the compensation they deserve for accidents that weren’t their fault.
If a careless, fatigued driver caused an accident that hurt you, contact our office and speak with an experienced Baltimore drowsy driving accident lawyer today. During your free initial consultation, we will carefully review your situation and explain your legal options.
What Is Drowsy Driving?
When sleepy or sleep-deprived, a motorist will suffer from impaired focus, judgment, and reaction time – a potentially deadly formula when operating a several-ton vehicle. In many situations, drowsy driving is an effect of a driver not getting enough rest. However, drowsy driving can also result from certain medications or an undiagnosed sleep disorder. Long-haul truck drivers and shift workers are also likelier to drive while too fatigued to do so safely.
What Are the Signs of Drowsy Driving?
Here are some of the most common signs that someone is too tired to operate their vehicle safely:
- Frequent yawning
- Blinking frequently
- Drifting between lanes of traffic or onto the shoulder
- Missing an exit or road signs
- Difficulty remembering the past few miles of the trip
- Microsleeps, or dozing off for a few seconds at a time
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
If you notice the signs of drowsy driving, pull over in a safe location and take a short nap. Do not simply open the window and crank up the radio, as these distractions might only compound the problem.
How Driving While Drowsy Causes Baltimore Car Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at least 1 in 25 adults have fallen asleep while driving in the past 30 days. While many people don’t consider drowsy driving as significant a problem as drunk driving, the consequences can be just as severe. Although the effects are not identical, studies have found several similarities between how sleeplessness and intoxication affect the human body.
Drowsiness can impair vision, judgment, muscle coordination, and reaction time. The effects of being awake for 18 hours are comparable to having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%. After 20 hours, a drowsy driver reacts similarly to someone with a BAC of 0.08%.
Driving while impaired significantly increases a driver’s risk of being involved in an accident. Data from the American Automobile Association suggests that motorists who get less than four to five hours of sleep are over four times likelier to be involved in a collision than those who get at least seven hours of rest. Drivers who get less than four hours of sleep increase their crash risk by 11.5 times.
Some of the most common types of Baltimore car accidents that occur due to drowsy drivers include:
- Wrong-way collisions
- Head-on crashes
- Commercial truck accidents
- Rear-end accidents
- T-bone accidents
When a driver cannot focus their full attention on the safe operation of their vehicle, they increase their risk of injuring themselves and others.
Compensation for Victims of Fatigued Driver Crashes
If you are injured in a drowsy driving accident caused by a careless motorist, you may be entitled to compensation from them. However, pursuing this compensation can be challenging while coping with traumatic injuries – especially if the insurance company decides to play hardball.
Instead, turn to our experienced Baltimore car accident lawyers for help demanding money for your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
While you rest and recover, your lawyer can communicate with the insurers and negotiate for the money you deserve.
How to Prevent Drowsy Driving
The following tips can help you prevent a drowsy driving accident:
- Plan ahead. Going on a long trip? Make a plan and break up your road trip into smaller segments so you can take plenty of breaks.
- Avoid driving at night. Avoid driving during periods your body typically rests. If you work during the day and sleep at night, listen to your internal clock and avoid driving between midnight and 6:00 a.m.
- Sleep well. Get plenty of rest before your drive. Plan on sleeping 7 to 9 hours, depending on your needs.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol interferes with the quality of your sleep. Never drive drunk, and avoid alcohol before a long drive.
- Read the label. Before taking medication, read the label carefully. Some medications can cause drowsiness and suggest you avoid driving or operating heavy machinery after use.
- Use stimulants with caution. Some people use stimulants, like caffeine, to keep them awake and alert in the car. Although they may seem to give you a quick jolt of energy, they can wear off, leaving you more fatigued.
- Use the buddy system. Going on an adventure? Bring a friend and take turns driving to avoid one person doing all the driving and becoming tired on the road.
- See a doctor. Do you often feel sleepy during the day or when driving? Talk to your doctor. You may have an undiagnosed sleep condition like sleep apnea that impacts the quality of your sleep.
Drowsy Driving Statistics in Baltimore
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 633 people died in drowsy driving-related traffic accidents in a single recent year. However, other organizations believe this could be a serious undercount. AAA studies suggest that federal estimates link drowsy driving to only 1 to 2% of crashes, while independent research indicates the total may be closer to 9.5%.
The Maryland Department of Transportation reported 563 auto fatalities in one recent year, 78 of which happened in Baltimore. Although the department does not provide specific drowsy driving numbers, the problem is serious enough that local news outlets often report on the dangers of drowsy driving on Baltimore roadways.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Baltimore for Help
Have you been hurt in an accident and suspect a drowsy driver is to blame? Contact Cohen & Dwin, P.A., for help seeking the compensation you deserve. We offer free, no-obligation legal consultations, so there’s no risk to speaking with one of our knowledgeable Baltimore drowsy driving accident lawyers.