The idea of drowsy driving might conjure someone who is out far past the time at which they would usually already be asleep, possibly due to working overtime or some kind of family mishap. However, people don’t just feel drowsy while driving late at night.
Many people keep unusual schedules, some of whom may work alternating shifts or overnight shifts regularly. There are also those who have medical conditions, like insomnia, that greatly contribute to the likeliness of them feeling fatigued on any particular day.
Getting behind the wheel when you feel exhausted may not seem like that big of a deal. However, feeling tired often means not driving as carefully or skillfully as you otherwise would. Additionally, in cases of extreme exhaustion, it’s possible that someone might fall asleep at the wheel. How often does exhaustion really affect how someone drives?
Falling asleep at the wheel happens far more frequently than you think
If you were to guess that only a tiny portion of drivers continue to drive when feeling so tired that they might doze off, you’d be wrong. In a shocking and sobering statistic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one in 25 drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel just in the last 30 days at least one time.
Simply put, many Americans are driving when they are far too tired to do so safely. Some of those people will inevitably cause crashes that might cause substantial property damage or serious injury to others.
How can you prove that fatigue played a role in the crash?
Some people will readily admit that they fell asleep at the wheel as they discuss what happened with the other people involved. Others may try to hide their faults out of fear of a lawsuit or increasing insurance premiums.
In a situation where you suspect fatigue because the driver demonstrated signs of exhaustion during your initial interaction, making a statement to police about your concerns can help ensure that a proper investigation takes place. Security camera and traffic camera footage from nearby may be able to demonstrate the other driver yawning or falling asleep.
Other documentation, such as time slips that show they were working for 16 hours immediately prior to the crash, may also help. If you were hurt by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel or who drove when too exhausted to be safe, you may be able to take legal action against the irresponsible driver involved in their crash.