You may be a person who would never drive after going a long period without rest or when you are on the verge of falling asleep. Unfortunately, too many other drivers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and across the country would.
In fact, a five-year study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that an average of 83,000 drowsy driving accidents occur in the U.S. each year, causing 37,000 injuries and 886 deaths.
At Techmeier, we believe that drivers who cause accidents and injuries because they decided to keep driving when they were dangerously fatigued should be held accountable – and their victims should be fully and fairly compensated.
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a drowsy driving accident, contact us without delay to learn more about your legal rights and the steps you can take to protect them.
Our consultations are free and confidential. Call or use our online form to schedule one today.
How and Why Drowsy Driving Accidents Happen
Sleepiness, fatigue or drowsiness slows reaction time. It makes drivers less attentive. It also impairs their decision-making skills. All of these factors can contribute to motor vehicle crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Sleep-related crashes are more likely to happen at night or during the mid-afternoon, when drivers are more likely to be sleepy. They are also more likely to result in injuries and fatalities than non-drowsy driving crashes, the CDC reports.
Drivers that are more likely to be fatigued than others include:
- Truck drivers and other commercial drivers
- Drivers who work at night or long shifts
- Students who work part-time or full-time jobs
- Drivers with untreated sleep disorders
- Drivers who use sedating medications.
Warning signs of drowsy driving include:
- Frequent yawning or blinking
- Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven
- Missing exits
- Drifting from your traffic lane
- Hitting a rumble strip.
In other words, fatigued drivers generally know when they are engaging in dangerous behavior.
According to the CDC, “Techniques to stay awake while driving, such as turning up the radio, opening the window, and turning up the air conditioner, have not been found to be effective … The only safe thing for drivers to do if they start to feel tired while driving is to get off the road and rest until no longer drowsy.”
How a WI Lawyer Can Help Drowsy Driving Accident Victims
At Techmeier Law Firm, we are on the side of the innocent drivers, passengers and pedestrians hurt by drowsy drivers. We can thoroughly investigate car accidents to determine whether the driver’s fatigue played a role.
For instance, a tell-tale sign that fatigue served as a factor in a car accident is a lack of braking or very little braking. Data from the event data recorder (EDR or “black box”) available in many new cars would show whether the driver braked before the crash. Photos from the accident scene may also show a lack of skid marks or very short skid marks, indicating a lack of braking or late braking.
Other indicators of fatigue or drowsiness include:
- Cell phone records (possibly serving as evidence of travel for a long distance or time period)
- Workplace or school attendance records (showing how long a driver was awake and active before the crash)
- Receipts (indicating that a driver ate or drank something such as alcohol or eaten a large meal before an accident that may have contributed to drowsiness)
- Prescription records for a medication that causes drowsiness.
The investigation could include obtaining police reports, witness statements and input from accident scene reconstruction experts.
As part of our analysis of your case, attorneys from Techmeier Law Firm would also document your injuries and assess the present and future costs of your recovery and losses.
With this information, we can negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company or, if needed, go into the courtroom to seek compensation.
Contact a Wisconsin Drowsy Driving Accident Attorney
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a car accident attributed to drowsy driving or a fatigued driver, the lawyers of Techmeier Law Firm are ready to help you. Get started by calling us today or using our online form to receive a free case review. We help auto accident victims and their families throughout Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
• Traffic Safety Facts – Drowsy Driving, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
• Drowsy Driving, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention