In a town that is known for going 24 hours a day, drowsy driving is an ongoing threat to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other road users. Drivers who are drowsy or fatigued react slower in traffic and can fall asleep at the wheel before an accident. Drowsy driving crashes tend to cause more serious injuries than other crashes because fatigued drivers often fail to brake before the collision.
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we represent people harmed by drowsy drivers. We help drowsy driving accident victims in Las Vegas and across Nevada get What’s Right, including compensation for their life-altering injuries.
After a serious accident caused by another driver, get the legal advice you need from a trusted Las Vegas drowsy driving accident lawyer at Sam & Ash Injury Law. We offer a free case review. You pay no out-of-pocket expenses when we pursue a claim for you. Call or contact us online today for a free review of your case and your legal options. We respond 24/7 with answers to your legal questions.
What Is Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving describes operating a motor vehicle while fatigued or sleepy. It usually happens when a driver has not had enough sleep or has driven too many miles without rest. Drinking alcohol, taking certain medications, or working night shifts can also cause drowsiness when a driver needs to be alert, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The National Sleep Foundation says sleep deprivation leads to mental impairment that is similar to drinking alcohol. They report that 24 hours of sleep deprivation causes impairment that is roughly the same as a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10% – more than the legal standard for drunk driving.
Drowsiness or fatigue will:
- Make a driver less attentive and more easily distracted
- Impair decision-making ability and slow recognition of traffic hazards
- Slow reaction to perceived hazards, making it harder to avoid dangers in the roadway
Drowsy drivers are susceptible to dozing off for a few seconds at a time. That is long enough to drift across a centerline and crash, especially in traffic.
A CDC study found that drowsy driving crashes often involve a single vehicle going off the road, but that many rear-end and head-on collisions also are sleep-deprivation accidents.
Drowsy drivers may injure themselves, their passengers, other drivers, passengers, and — particularly in urban areas — pedestrians and cyclists.
Drowsy-driving Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it is not possible to determine how many car accidents, injuries, and fatalities are caused by drowsy drivers. Sleepy drivers who are not badly injured in accidents may appear wide awake immediately afterward because of their body’s release of adrenaline in response to the crash.
NHTSA, which relies on police and hospital reports to determine the incidence of drowsy-driving crashes, says 697 fatalities in 2019 involved a drowsy driver or 1.9 percent of all car accident fatalities for the year.
In the AAA Traffic Safety Foundation’s 2020 annual survey of unsafe driving behaviors, 17.3% of respondents admitted to having driven while so tired that they had had a hard time keeping their eyes open at least once in the prior 30 days.
In a survey of undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 25 at a large university in the Washington, D.C. area, participants said drowsy driving was a normal and unavoidable part of their lives.
Who Is Likely To Be a Drowsy Driver?
Multiple studies say that drivers who are more likely than others to be sleepy or fatigued while behind the wheel include:
- Commercial drivers who operate tow trucks, tractor-trailers, and buses. The FMCSA, which regulates commercial motor vehicle drivers, says its largest study of commercial motor vehicle accidents found that 13% of drivers were considered to have been fatigued when they crashed their vehicles.
- Drivers on lengthy trips
- Teenagers and young adults who work part-time in addition to attending school
- New parents, particularly those who also work outside of the home
- Shift workers working overnight shifts or alternating day and night shifts
- Drivers who are sleepy due to the use of certain medications, alcohol, or certain illicit drugs
- Drivers with untreated sleep disorders that disrupt sleep as breathing repeatedly stops and starts
A CDC study cited above found that drowsy driving was more prevalent among men, younger drivers, binge drinkers, and drivers who did not regularly use seatbelts.
A tourism town such as Las Vegas offers gaming and other entertainment around the clock. That increases the likelihood of encountering drowsy drivers and impaired drivers who have been partying all night on the road.
How Our Las Vegas Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible to seek compensation from the at-fault party. To do so, you must be able to demonstrate that the other driver caused your injuries and loss through a negligent or reckless act of their own, such as getting behind the wheel while impaired by fatigue or drowsiness.
After a crash, drowsy drivers generally do not admit that they were struggling to stay awake. Police may not list drowsiness as a potential cause of the accident on their reports. But a drowsy driving crash leaves indications that the driver did not react as a driver normally would before a collision.
When investigating a car accident, the lack of skid marks at the accident scene indicates a lack of braking, which is a tell-tale sign of a driver asleep at the wheel or distracted and not paying attention.
Additional evidence our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys seek when investigating a potential drowsy driver accident case includes:
- Information from the vehicle’s Event Data Recorder (EDR or “black box”), which records braking, vehicle speed, acceleration, steering trajectory, and more just before a collision
- Statements by witnesses, who may be able to testify to the vehicle failing to slow before the accident
- Recordings from a stoplight camera or from nearby security cameras, which may show the vehicle as it crashes or before the crash
- Records of the driver’s activity in the several hours before the accident, which may indicate continued activity and therefore lack of sleep, including:
- work or school attendance records (or witness affidavits)
- debit or credit card receipts
- cellphone activity
- social media posts
- Records of prescriptions for drowsiness-causing medication
The evidence is used to establish a negligent driver’s fault, regardless of whether anyone could say specifically that he or she was impaired by fatigue or lack of sleep. We compile a strong case to present to insurers along with demands for full compensation.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, our attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law will be ready to file a formal lawsuit on your behalf and make sure your voice is heard in court.
In general, a drowsy driver car accident victim may seek compensation for:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses related to injuries suffered in the crash
- Lost wages, including future losses caused by diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
To hold accountable a driver whose negligence has led to your injuries in a Las Vegas car crash, you’ll need the help of an experienced Nevada car accident attorney.
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we have helped thousands of Nevadans who were unjustly injured in car accidents caused by other motorists. We also have experience handling lawsuits against out-of-state drivers and are licensed attorneys in California, the home of more than a third of Las Vegas visitors.
Talk to a Sam & Ash Injury Law Attorney Today
If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident that may have been caused by a driver who was impaired by fatigue or asleep at the wheel, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, our Las Vegas injury attorneys have the experience, resources, and dedication to pursue full compensation for you if another party was at fault. You deserve the personal, one-on-one attention we provide to people trying to recover from serious car accidents.
Call us today or contact us online for a free review of the car accident you were in and an explanation of your legal options. We stand up for What’s Right for our clients. We’re here to help you.