That extra cup of coffee may not do the trick when it comes to driving without enough hours of sleep. Thousands of automobile accidents occur each year due to drowsy driving. In fact, the risks can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence. Drivers who are fatigued may have slower reaction times as well as an impaired ability to make decisions. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of drowsy driving may be truck drivers who are traveling for long, overnight shifts. You may be surprised to learn that teenagers and adults (ages 16 – 24) are actually most likely to be involved in a drowsy driving-related car accident, according to TeenDrivingSource.org.
Florida drivers should take note of the symptoms related to drowsy driving to help prevent accidents from happening.
What are the Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving?
- Excessive yawning or blinking frequently
- Difficulty remembering the last few miles driven
- Missing traffic signs or exits
- Drifting or swerving from your lane
- Difficulty focusing
- Hitting a shoulder’s rumble strip
- Heavy eyelids
Some car companies are now utilizing the latest developments in technology to offer equipment that can detect whether you are drowsy at the wheel. The 2016 Nissan Altima, for example, has a “Driver Attention Alert” system available that analyzes a driver’s steering behavior to signal if drowsiness or inattention are detected. The idea is to alert drivers when a break may be necessary so they can pull over safely before putting themselves and others in danger.
There is a legal aspect to consider for those who get behind the wheel and are sleep-deprived. Drowsy driving can be considered negligence in Florida if you are experiencing a lack of sleep and have knowledge that this is the case before driving a vehicle. If you did not use reasonable care in your actions, it may be deemed negligence, and you will have consequences for those actions. This is particularly true if injury was caused due to the drowsy driver’s negligence. If it can be demonstrated that another driver acted negligently by driving while exhausted, they may be responsible for damages suffered from the accident. These cases require immediate direction from an attorney, as they are not as straightforward with respect to determining whether drowsiness played a part, as compared to intoxication and the ability to test for DUI. For an assessment of your Florida drowsy driving case, contact TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A.