Drowsy driving accidents in Long Island and beyond have captured nationwide attention in recent years. Last June, the issue was abruptly thrust into the spotlight with the now-infamous Tracy Morgan crash. A Wal-Mart truck driver had struck Morgan’s vehicle, killing one of his friends and seriously injuring the comedian. Police reports indicate that the trucker had been awake for more than 24 hours.
Far too many other families are faced with the sudden loss or severe disability of their loved ones because of drowsy driving accidents. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 5,000 to 6,000 car crash fatalities may be the result of sleep deprived drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that over 100,000 total crashes each year may be attributed to drowsy drivers, along with 71,000 injuries.
Drowsy driving experiment
Recently, Jeff Rossen of NBC conducted an informal experiment on the dangers of drowsy driving accidents. He headed to the Skip Barber Driving School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He drove the course while fully rested and earned top marks for his flawless performance. Then, Rossen stayed awake for almost 30 consecutive hours before driving the course again.
Before his second attempt, Rossen noted, “Actually, I feel fine. I feel like this is the kind of situation that a lot of people drive in. Maybe I could too.” It’s quite common for a person who is impaired to feel as though they could drive well. However, on his second attempt, Rossen failed the course, striking multiple traffic cones. His last driving test simulated a highway trip. During this test, he was unable to avoid a long line of traffic cones. On a real road, those cones could have been other cars or pedestrians.
Drowsy driving experts note that losing just one night of sleep impairs a person to the same extent as if that person was legally drunk. It is possible for part of the brain to be asleep while a person is awake, preventing that person from being capable of multitasking. In other words, a person might be able to keep his foot on the gas pedal, while being unable to avoid oncoming traffic because the judgment area of the brain is compromised.
Filing a Long Island drowsy driving accident lawsuit
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a negligent driver asleep at the wheel, you do have legal options available to you. The drowsy driving accident lawyers at the Long Island law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have a long track record of successfully defending the rights of victims and obtaining maximum compensation from negligent parties. By filing a personal injury lawsuit against the drowsy driver, you and your family could recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
It can often be more difficult to prove that a driver was asleep at the wheel, compared to drunk driving, for example. Our Long Island car accident lawyers will use our extensive investigative resources to prove that the driver breached a duty to exercise reasonable care on the road. For example, we can use cellphone records to prove the driver traveled long distances over an extended period of time without rest. We can also use the accident report to substantiate your claim; it may show that the driver veered without the presence of skid marks, which indicates sleepiness.
Just as if a driver had been intoxicated, our car accident lawyers can prove negligence on the part of a drowsy driver. Call 1-800-469-7429 to schedule your free case review today and discuss filing a drowsy driver accident lawsuit.