Deadly Automobile Accidents Caused by Drowsy Drivers Who Fall Alseep at the Wheel

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Written By: Lenorae Atter, Attorney
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Everyone knows that alcohol and drugs and driving don’t mix. Every year, there are too many deaths caused by drivers who are drunk or otherwise under the influence of drugs. Many vehicular deaths are also caused by drowsy drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. This may be caused by drugs and alcohol. It may be caused because the driver was merely tired or sleepy. It may be caused when the driver has driven too long or was bored and then fell asleep. Regardless of the cause, it is vital for drivers to be alert and fully awake when driving a motor vehicle.
Recently, a college student was driving back to school, fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a guardrail, which went through the engine block to the passenger seat. Luckily, there was no one in the passenger seat at the time and the driver walked away from the scene uninjured. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s accident statistics for 2009, it is unknown how many of Duval County‚Äôs 14,102 accidents in 2009 were caused by drowsy drivers or drivers who feel asleep at the wheel, but of the number of crashes, 114 resulted in deaths. Out of that, how many could have been avoided by people being fully awake and alert while driving on Duval County (Jacksonville) Florida highways and roads?
In a recent article regarding the NTSB, the severity of a car accident involving a drowsy driver was likened to a drunk driver. Even if the driver closes his eyes for a moment, in that moment a serious accident could occur if the car drifts into oncoming traffic. Often these injuries can be life altering because the speed of the vehicle driven by the sleeping party does not decrease before impact.
We often associate such fatigue or sleeping issues with truck drivers, pilots or train engineers, but the average person often drives while tired. Whether you take the wheel after a long day of work or you have to beat your record trip time from Jacksonville to Rhode Island, sleepiness can play a factor. It is important to recognize the signs: yawning, heavy eyes, loss of concentration, and nodding of the head. Once you have the warning signs, take the right precautions: roll down the window and turn up the music until you can pull over, walk around or switch drivers. It may also be prudent to pull over and get some sleep or make arrangements for lodging and then continue the trip the next day.


If you have been injured in an automobile accident, trucking accident, or motorcycle accident, it is important you know your rights and options. Get the advice and assistance of an attorney to help you.

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