Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyers in Austin
Fatigued Driving Crash Attorneys Serving Austin, Waco and Surrounding Areas
Drowsy driving is a major hazard on Texas roadways. While everyone today knows how dangerous drunk driving is, many people are surprised to learn that drowsy driving can be equally risky. In fact, driving after 17 hours without sleep is the equivalent of driving with a 0.05 BAC, while driving after 24 hours of no sleep is equivalent to having a 0.10 BAC, according to the Adelaide Centre for Sleep Research.
Although drowsy driving significantly impairs reaction time and makes crashes more dangerous when they do occur, few people stop to think about whether they should get behind the wheel when they are tired. This can be a deadly mistake not just for the driver who makes the irresponsible choice to drive while exhausted, but also for innocent victims on the road who may be involved in a crash with a fatigued driver.
If you were the victim of someone else’s drowsy driving, contact The Bob Richardson Law Firm today to learn what compensation you may be entitled to under Texas law. Call us today toll-free at 800-880-5100 or use our online form. We offer free case evaluations. We won’t charge you for our services unless we recover for you. The Bob Richardson Law Firm has convenient offices in both Austin and Waco*.
About Drowsy Driving Accidents
Extensive research has shown time and again that drowsy driving is a very dangerous practice. To help inform the public about the grave dangers of fatigued or sleepy driving, Drowsy Driving.org assembled some startling statistics. According to the information published on their website:
- 60 percent of adult drivers who responded to a Sleep in America poll indicated they had driven while drowsy at some point in the prior year.
- 37 percent of adult drivers admitted on the survey to having fallen asleep at the wheel. This means approximately 103 million people accidentally go to sleep while driving in a single year.
- 13 percent of those drivers who reported falling asleep while driving indicated that they had done so approximately once per month.
With the majority of drivers saying they sometimes drive while tired, it should come as no surprise that there are a large number of drowsy driving accidents each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver fatigue is a factor in about 100,000 crashes each year.
The Risks of Drowsy Driving in Texas
Driving while fatigued is dangerous not only because of the increased likelihood of a crash, but also because crashes with sleepy drivers can be much more serious than other types of Texas car crashes. For instance, in a report by a NHTSA panel, crashes with drowsy drivers have higher death rates than other accidents and present a greater risk of serious injury. NHTSA suggests that these accidents are often more likely to lead to death or serious injuries because the tired or sleepy driver has a delayed reaction or does not slow the vehicle at all. A sleeping driver also doesn’t brake, swerve or otherwise try to avoid a direct collision.
These factors, coupled with the fact that the NHTSA also reports that most drowsy driving accidents happen on highways or roads with speed limits above 55 mph, mean that an innocent victim involved in a drowsy driving crash is at very real risk of suffering serious injuries or even death.
Texas Laws on Drowsy Driving
Despite the known dangers of drowsy driving, it is difficult if not impossible to pass a specific law prohibiting drivers from getting behind the wheel when they are tired.
The major problem is that there is no test to determine when a driver is too tired to be driving.
Still, there are general negligence laws that hold Texas drowsy drivers responsible for accidents that they cause. When a driver acts in an unreasonably careless manner — such as driving when he or she is very tired or continuing to drive while nodding off — he or she can be considered negligent. This means that you can make a claim against the drowsy driver to pursue compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
In order to successfully make a claim against a drowsy driver, you will need to show that the driver acted in an unreasonably careless way that directly led to your accident. This means showing that no reasonable driver would have done what that particular driver did.
Our Texas Fatigued Driving Lawyers Can Help
Our Texas personal injury lawyers can help you to gather the proof necessary to show that the driver who harmed you was driving while drowsy. The Bob Richardson Law Firm can help you to present this evidence to the driver’s insurance company, to a judge or a jury to help you seek compensation for your injuries.
When the driver does not admit being tired, it is especially important to get help from a Texas car accident attorney in order to gather important proof for your claim. Evidence may include testimony from an accident reconstruction specialist who can examine the tire marks, the vehicles in the accident and other physical evidence to determine what occurred. Eyewitness testimony from others at the scene may also be useful.
For more than 30 years, The Bob Richardson Law Firm has worked tirelessly for car accident victims throughout Austin, Waco and the surrounding Texas communities of Round Rock, Georgetown, Killeen, Temple, Cedar Park, Taylor and Belton.
To learn how we can help you with your drowsy driving car accident case, and to receive a free case evaluation, call us today toll-free at 800-880-5100 or use our online form.