No matter how experienced a driver might be, fatigue and drowsiness can affect a tired motorist at any time of the day. Whether it’s because of late-night studying, shift work, or the cries of a newborn baby, driver fatigue is a common cause of many auto accidents in the United States. It only takes a moment for a person to fall asleep at the wheel, but the devastating consequences can last a lifetime.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drowsy driving crash, consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to find out your rights. The Cellino Law team can examine your case details and determine whether you are eligible to receive financial compensation for your injuries. When we take on a case, we combine our resources and experience to get the maximum amount of compensation available for our client.
Call us at (800) 555-5555 to schedule a free case evaluation and find out what legal options are available to you.
What Impact Does Drowsy Driving Have?
Most people understand the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol, yet the effects of sleep deprivation are more severe than most people realize. Drowsy driving can impact a driver similarly to alcohol, affecting a driver’s ability to make good decisions.
Driver fatigue can affect a person in the following ways:
- Inability to focus
- Poor judgment
- Delayed reaction times
- Inability to judge distances and speeds
- Dozing-off or falling asleep
Who is Most at Risk of Drowsy Driving?
Various factors can contribute to drowsy driving, including lack of sleep, alcohol, or certain medications. However, New York’s drowsy driver statistics show that certain groups are at a higher risk of falling asleep while driving.
Whether it’s due to the pressures of studying or working long hours, drivers aged between 18 and 29 years old are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel than other age groups. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), 55 percent of drowsy driving crashes involve drivers under 25 years old.
Due to the long hours and far distances commercial drivers must travel, many suffer from driver fatigue. Despite having mandatory breaks, the quality of sleep may be insufficient for them to drive safely. At times, some drivers may be under pressure to drive longer hours to meet a deadline.
Ever-changing shifts can affect the sleep patterns of shift workers. These changes can cause lack of sleep, which can dull our senses and reduce our awareness needed to drive safely.
Traveling across time zones can affect our internal clock leading to jet lag and lethargy. Many business travelers push themselves to drive long hours to get to meetings and appointments, left tired and exhausted.
Common Signs of Driver Fatigue
Drowsy driving can kill, but when we learn to identify the signs, we are in a better position to do something about it. If you notice the warning signs of fatigue setting in, it’s better to pull over, take a nap, and resume your trip once you are well-rested.
Common symptoms of driver fatigue may include:
- Frequent yawning
- Difficulty keeping your eyes open
- Unable to keep your head up or nodding off
- Inability to remember driving the last few miles
- Drifting out of your lane
- Missing road signs, turns, or exits
- Drifting into a rumble strip on the side of the road
Ways to Avoid Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving accidents are a common problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year there may be up to 6,000 fatal crashes that are caused by driver fatigue.
Yet, there are simple steps that each person can take to prevent drowsy driving, including the following.
1. Get enough sleep
Developing good sleeping habits can help you get the adequate rest you need to function properly. Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep a day, while teenagers need at least 8 hours of sleep. Getting a good night’s rest before a long road trip will help to keep you and others safe while traveling.
2. Avoid drinking alcohol before driving
Consuming alcohol can increase drowsiness and impair your ability to concentrate. If you have already had an alcoholic drink, consider asking a friend to drive for you, or call a taxi.
3. Avoid medication that causes drowsiness before driving
Be sure to check the labels of your prescribed medicine to see whether it causes drowsiness. If you need to take the medication before going somewhere, you could ask someone else to drive or consider taking public transport.
4. Pull over for a quick nap
If you start to get sleepy while you are driving, pull over to a safe place and take a short nap. This can increase your alertness and help you maintain concentration.
5. Consult your doctor if you think you have a sleeping disorder
If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder such as snoring or feeling sleepy during the day, talk to your doctor about possible treatment options that can help.
What is the New York No-Fault Insurance Law?
If you were injured in a drowsy driving car accident in the State of New York, your no-fault insurance, or Personal Injury Protection (PIP), may help cover your damages. This means that your insurance will pay for your losses up to the coverage limit, regardless of who caused the car accident.
Accident-related expenses you may claim against no-fault insurance include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reasonable out-of-pocket costs
However, no-fault insurance will restrict your coverage for basic economic losses. Further, you can’t claim compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, under the no-fault insurance scheme by itself.
How to Pursue Compensation Beyond No-Fault Insurance
If your losses exceed your no-fault benefits, you might be able to seek further compensation including your non-economic losses. To do so, your injuries must qualify as serious according to the state’s definition. A qualified car accident lawyer can examine your case details and give you an honest evaluation of how much you might be able to recover beyond your no-fault policy.
Our lawyers seek both economic and non-economic damages for car accidents, including the following:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
Cellino Law firm has successfully recovered over 2 billion dollars in compensation for our clients. We understand the laws that govern drowsy driving accidents and no-fault insurance claims in New York. If you have serious injuries, we can maximize your compensation by filing a third-party insurance claim or lawsuit against the negligent driver.
How to Establish Negligence in New York
Driving while fatigued is an act of negligence and a person can be held liable for the damages caused to others. If you have been seriously injured by a negligent driver, we can help you investigate what losses may be recovered for your injuries. To seek monetary compensation, New York law requires proof that the driver acted negligently. One of our New York drowsy driving attorneys can help to establish the four elements necessary.
The following must be proven:
- Duty of care: The driver owed you a duty of care
- Breach of duty: The driver breached that duty of care
- Causation: The driver’s actions, or lack of actions, caused your injuries
- Damages: The injuries you suffered led to financial damages
How Much Does a Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer Cost?
The legal team at Cellino Law works on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win your case. We offer all New York residents quality legal representation without the worry of costly retainers or out-of-pocket expenses.
Our clients trust in our ability to advocate for their rights and to hold accountable parties responsible for their actions. You can also trust that we have your best interests in mind and will always seek the highest amount of compensation available for your case.
Hire Trustworthy Lawyers for Your Drowsy Driving Case
Cellino Law is a law firm with over 60 years of combined experience, providing quality legal representation to residents across the State of New York. If you believe a fatigued driver caused your injuries, call us for legal advice you can trust. We are available 24/7 to offer injury victims help with their legal concerns. One of our lawyers will be more than happy to sit down and discuss the options available for your case.
Let us make a difference in your life. Our drowsy driving accident lawyers can make your legal journey less stressful for you so you can focus on your recovery and look to the future with hope.
Contact us for a free no-obligation case evaluation and find out how our law firm can help you with your case today.