Driving while tired puts you at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel and is a very dangerous practice that can easily end in a serious car accident in Atlanta, Georgia. When you drive while tired or fatigued, you may not even be aware of an impending collision, and therefore may not react in time to minimize the damage. These accidents frequently happen at very high speeds, since the fatigued driver makes no attempt to slow down, and fatalities and serious injuries are common.
In fact, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one in five fatal car accidents occur as a result of driving while fatigued. For the survivors, the victims, and the family members of these accidents, they are frequently left wondering what could have happened, and what they can do now. If you have been involved in a drowsy driving accident in Atlanta, GA, you should reach out to the experienced car accident lawyers at John B. Jackson today.
Drowsy Driving Laws and the Prevalence of Driving while Tired in the US
Driving while tired is potentially the most insidious form of distracted driving, and for this reason, drowsy driving laws have come to exist in both Atlanta, Georgia and across the country. In addition to being a factor in one in five fatal car accidents, there are a number of alarming statistics involving driving while tired. In 2016, there were more than 325,000 car accidents in which drowsy or tired driving was a factor, resulting in more than 100,000 injuries and 6,400 deaths.
It has been shown that people who are only sleeping five to six hours each night are at nearly double the risk of a drowsy driving accident compared to those getting a full seven or nine hours of sleep each night. To place this in a clearer perspective, your risk of causing a drowsy driving car accident if you don’t get enough sleep is as high as if you were driving drunk.
Between seven and nine hours of sleep is the recommended amount for people who wish to live a productive and healthy life, and clearly, it is essential for anyone who is going to be driving a vehicle and doesn’t want to risk an accident. Nearly 35% of drivers on the roads aren’t getting enough sleep at night, and to make matters worse, as many as 10% are sleeping even less than five hours a night. These tired drivers are over 300% more likely to cause an accident
Of course, driving while tired isn’t only due to avoiding sleep. This can also be a result of irregular working hours and changing shifts, preventing a person from developing a normal sleep schedule. Even if you do get enough sleep, a disrupted sleep schedule can cause anyone to be drowsy while driving.
Are There Drowsy Driving Laws in Georgia?
The Georgia Governor’s Highway Safety Association is working hard to combat the prevalence of accidents caused by driving while tired and is funding drowsy driving accident prevention programs across the state. It is not possible to make drowsy driving outright illegal, because there isn’t a way to determine just how tired or fatigued someone is. The best first step is to educate people on the roads about the risks. As of today, there are no laws in Georgia against drowsy driving. However, drivers who cause an accident due to driving while tired or fatigued are still liable for the costs of any damages incurred during the accident.
The overall costs of drowsy driving car accidents across the United States each year totals more than 100 billion dollars. This is pushing the US and many state and local governments to start to take a hard look at drowsy driving accidents, the laws regarding distracted driving, and what they can do to prevent people from driving while tired. This is being done largely through educational initiatives and via public awareness campaigns. It is vital for everyone on the road, including new drivers, are taught about the risks of driving while tired, and what they should do if they are too fatigued to be behind the wheel. By making the public more aware of the problem, the risk can be reduced.
Reach Out to a Georgia Lawyer If You Have Been Hurt in a Car Accident
If you or someone you love has been hurt or killed in a drowsy driving car accident in Atlanta, Georgia, contact the experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers here at the law offices of John B. Jackson. We will provide you with a free consultation in which we will examine the facts of your case and advise you as to the best course of action to recover the maximum possible compensation.