Last November, at approximately 3 a.m., a driver fell asleep behind the wheel while driving on I10 West in El Paso, Texas. The driver’s vehicle veered off the highway, struck a metal pole, and then caught fire. He had two male passengers with him. One passenger died at the scene and the other was transported to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver sustained minor injuries.
Drowsy driving is incredibly dangerous and can lead to accidents like this one. If you were in a car accident caused by an overly tired driver who should not have been behind the wheel, contact an Austin personal injury attorney right away. Many victims of car accidents try to rely on insurance to cover their medical expenses and pain and suffering. However, an insurance settlement is not always the answer. You may need to seek recovery in court.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Few people consider how tired they are when they drive. However, that is because people may not be aware of how dangerous it is to operate a vehicle while they are drowsy. Driving while overly tired can produce the same effects as drunk driving. Individuals become less focused, less able to recognize hazards in the road, and slower to respond when they see a problem. Overall, they are less able to safely operate the vehicle. Drowsy drivers are also highly likely to fall asleep behind the wheel no matter how loud they turn up the music or whether they roll down the windows for fresh air.
The Eye-Opening Statistics
According to a study published by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2014, drowsy driving was an issue in a significant number of crashes between 2009 and 2013. Of 14,268 crashes examined, AAA found:
- Six percent of all crashes that resulted in a vehicle being towed involved drowsy driving;
- Seven percent of crashes in which a person received treatment for a crash-related injury involved drowsy driving;
- 13 percent of accidents in which at least one person was hospitalized involved drowsy driving; and
- 21 percent of crashes in which there was a fatality involved a drowsy driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that over the last decade, more than 7,000 individuals have been killed in drowsy-driving-related collisions.
Call an Austin Personal Injury Attorney Today
When you are injured in a collision due to a drowsy driver, you deserve to uphold your rights and recover for your injuries. All drivers are required to operate a vehicle safely and in accordance with Texas law. Your passionate New Braunfels personal injury attorney may be able to show in court that the at-fault driver should have known he or she was too tired to continue driving but did so anyway, putting other people’s lives at risk.