Fatigued Drivers & New Mexico Car Accidents
Fatigued Motorists Can Be a Huge Safety Risk
A recent study conducted by the American Council on Science and Health found that “severe sleep apnea was associated with a 123% increased crash risk, compared to no sleep apnea.” The study also claims that “sleeping 6 hours per night was associated with a 33% increased crash risk, compared to sleeping 7 or 8 hours per night.”
It is widely known that exhaustion is often a cause of severe auto accidents. However, until now, there have been limited studies that connect this issue to personal injury claims and other legal matters. For instance, if someone is in a constant state of drowsiness and has no awareness of this fact, are they considered to be sleep deprived? Also, those who suffer from sleep apnea may be better equipped to handle the effects of sleep deprivation and avoid being involved in a car crash lawsuit.
The lead author of the study, Daniel Gottlieb, MD, MPh, who is the associate physician in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, said in the study: “We found that chronically sleep-deprived individuals don’t perceive themselves as being excessively sleepy and thus don’t perceive themselves as impaired… This resulted in an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes in sleep-deprived individuals.” The study helps provide context to the growing risk that drowsy drivers pose to drivers on American roadways.
Possible Signs of Sleep-Deprived drivers
When looking for signs of sleep deprivation, pay attention to the following:
- Frequent yawning or blinking;
- Difficulty remembering your time on the road;
- Missing an exit.
- Drifting lanes;
- Driving onto a rumble strip;
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Impaired performance;
- Memory and cognitive problems;
- Paranoia; and
- Mood changes.
If you have been involved in a car accident, and you believe that a sleep-deprived driver is responsible, you should reach out to a trained New Mexico auto accident lawyer immediately. Skilled legal counsel can make all the difference when pursuing losses through a personal injury claim.
Drowsy Driving Collisions in New Mexico
Statistics show that fatigued drivers are hitting the road more than ever. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 72,000 collisions were caused by drowsy driving in just 2013. 44,000 people were seriously injured in these car accidents, and around 800 people lost their lives.
In many ways, drowsy drivers are very similar to drunk drivers. They both exhibit impaired judgment and reaction time when behind the wheel. Sadly, there is little awareness of the risks of fatigued driving compared to the dangers of intoxicated motorists. Regardless, exhausted drivers continually get behind the wheel and endanger those who are traveling the roadways of New Mexico.
An experienced car crash lawyer can help you regain deserved compensation for your injuries associated with a serious car crash. At Will Ferguson & Associates, we can fight for your rights and provide top-quality legal representation. Discuss your case with an experienced New Mexico car crash lawyer by contacting our law offices at (505) 243-5566.