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If a driver operates a motor vehicle while overly drowsy, it is essentially the same as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The driver’s ability to safely control the vehicle will be seriously impaired and place others in danger.
Unfortunately, in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, 4.2 percent of drivers admitted to driving while so fatigued within the previous 30 days that they had actually fallen asleep at the wheel.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a car accident that was caused by a drowsy driver, Frank M. Eidson, P.A., can assist you in seeking compensation for your losses. We have been helping accident victims throughout Orlando, Winter Park and surrounding areas in Central Florida since 1989. Contact us today. We will review your case for free and explain the options available to you.
A driver who is extremely fatigued may:
All of these behaviors can be the direct cause of a collision that injures you or that kills a loved one. If you can show that the other driver’s actions were the cause of your losses, you can take legal action.
In most drowsy driving accident claims, you will make a claim against the fatigued motorist. However, there may be situations when other parties could also be held liable. For example, if a driver is fatigued while driving on-the-job, his employer may be to blame and could also be responsible for compensating you for losses.
A drowsy driving accident claim’s success will hinge on your ability to demonstrate that the other driver broke a safety rule or was unreasonably careless in a way that directly caused the crash.
Drowsy driving cases can be a challenge to prove. It’s not the same as a drunk driving case, where a driver’s inebriation can be established through blood alcohol test results. There is no test to determine a person’s degree of fatigue.
However, fatigued driving can be established through evidence such as:
For example, if the driver last ate a meal at a location 12 hours away, it could establish that the driver had been on the road for a long period of time and suffering from fatigue at the time of your crash.
Accident reconstruction experts can also analyze the scene of the crash and look for signs that the driver was fatigued. For instance, a lack of brake or skid marks could indicate that the driver had been asleep at the wheel at the time of impact.
Safety rules exist for professional truck drivers and other drivers of commercial motor vehicles. This can make it easier to prove fatigued driving cases involving truck accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has set limits on the number of hours that truckers can be on duty as well as the number of hours they can drive before a break. The FMCSA also places limits on the number of hours a trucker can drive in a single day or week. Truckers must keep logs to prove they are complying with these rules.
If a truck driver fails to keep his logbook, or if he or she exceeds maximum drive-time, this can create a presumption that the driver was negligent. This makes it easier for victims to take legal action against both the trucker and the company that employs the trucker.
Frank M. Eidson, P.A., can assist you in many important ways with your fatigued driving case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and allow us to go to work for you right away.