We're all aware of the risks associated with drinking and driving, but drowsy driving should also be an issue that is taken seriously. Sleep deprivation has the same negative effects on driving as drugs and alcohol, making it harder to remain alert, focus on the road, react to other vehicles or traffic signals, and remain in your lane.

Car accident claims filed against negligent drivers who cause accidents while sleepy can be successful in the hands of an experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer.

However, it's not always easy to spot signs of driving fatigue or prove that an individual was indeed tired. We will address the dangers of drowsy driving and facts you should know in the following blog. But, if you have specific concerns that need to be addressed, consult with Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law. Our team can help answer and address concerns related to accidents caused by drowsy drivers.

Why Is Drowsy Driving So Dangerous?

Understanding how detrimental drowsiness may be for a driver's cognitive abilities is important when analyzing an accident that may have been caused by a fatigued motorist. While drowsy driving usually begins with a small yawn or a wandering mind, driving when drowsy can be just as risky as driving under the influence. According to CDC studies, drivers who were up for longer than 18 hours had the same reaction time as those with a blood alcohol content of 0.05%, while those who were awake for longer than 24 hours had the equivalent of a 0.10% BAC.

While there are tests that can be performed to identify a drunk driver, there are no tests to identify whether a driver was tired or not at the time of the collision. There are still techniques for identifying specific signs of fatigued driving.

If you've retained a car accident lawyer, they may be able to identify particular aspects in the other driver's statement that support a determination of fatigued driving when studying an accident report. This may be:

  • Restless mind
  • Lack of concentration prior to, during, and following an accident
  • Lack of memory or inability to recollect the moments leading up to an accident
  • Yawning
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Restlessness

Some attorneys will be able to assess various facts of the accident, in addition to the other driver's own account, to show that a driver was exhausted or drowsy, establishing negligence on their part.

How to Identify Drowsy Driving

If you don't have a lot of proof to back up your claim, it may be difficult to win an auto accident claim based on fatigue or drowsy driving. There is currently no recognized test among New Jersey law enforcement to show fatigued driving. Drowsiness is generally difficult to detect unless you are in the car with the negligent driver. You might have trouble establishing that the motorist was too exhausted to drive unless they make an error in their testimony and admit to it.

However, there are more indicators of fatigued driving that your lawyer might use to strengthen your case. Your lawyer may look for the following things when they examine the evidence:

  • tire tread patterns that indicate drifting between lanes
  • the incident's time and the at-fault driver's actions leading up to the accident (late-night shifts, long drives, etc.)
  • A reckless driver could cross numerous lanes of traffic, drive too fast, or fail to apply the brakes
  • Having a history of sleep disorders such obstructive sleep apnea
  • Witness accounts that support the driver's risky behavior prior to the crash
  • Surveillance video capturing the accident's circumstances

If the accident involved a truck, your lawyer might be able to subpoena the truck's black box. Black boxes can record particular information about the moments before an accident, such as the frequency with which the driver took the legally mandated breaks, their speed just before the incident, and whether or not they applied the brakes. The hours of service, which specify how long a driver may be on the road, are one of the stringent federal requirements that all truck drivers are required to follow. It is against the law to break these rules, and it is very helpful evidence that the driver was careless and your injuries were the result.

Drowsiness qualifies as negligence, thus if the other driver was to blame for your injuries, you would be entitled to compensation. To ensure that an insurance adjuster or jury will treat your claim seriously, you must carefully examine all available evidence. You can encounter difficulty if you take on your case on your own because not everyone is aware of the risks associated with sleepy driving.

Our NJ Car Accident Lawyers Have The Experience To Help You Win

Contact the NJ auto accident attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, to handle the legal duties on your behalf rather than taking them on yourself. We have been representing victims of auto accidents for decades. Our long list of successful case outcomes speaks for itself.

When we take on a client, we go over every detail to make sure your case doesn't overlook any important information. After a traffic accident, you can rest easy knowing that you'll get the greatest legal counsel available.

To find out how we may represent you in a car accident claim, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Wed, 02/01/2023 - 20:26

Still have questions?

Speak to an attorney today

Call now and be done