Drowsy and Impaired Driving
People who fail to get adequate sleep are risking their own health and safety — and that of others — whenever they get behind the wheel. Drowsy and impaired drivers react more slowly, are not as alert and vigilant, and they have information-processing deficits which make it difficult to detect hazards and respond to them quickly. There are studies showing that people who are sleepy or tired when they drive are as impaired as someone who has had a fair amount of alcohol.
Drowsy or sleepy driving is particularly dangerous because people are often unaware of just how sleepy they actually are. Many individuals who work night or rotating shifts rarely sleep enough, and sleep loss is cumulative. After days of irregular and insufficient sleep, sleep loss may get to the point of impairing decision-making, initiative, integration of information, planning, and vigilance, and still not be recognized by the sleep-deprived individual. Studies have shown that moderate levels of prolonged wakefulness can produce performance impairments and can be just as hazardous as drunk or drugged driving. It is remarkable how many people in America today take medications to help them sleep at night. Many of those people are impaired during the daytime hours as well or abuse sleeping medications.
When drowsy or sleepy drivers fall asleep at the wheel, the results can be devastating. In 2014 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that more than 840 people died due to drowsy driving. NHTSA data shows that drowsy or fatigued driving is suspected in as many as one in six fatal car accidents and in one out of every eight crashes causing hospitalization.
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a collision caused by a drowsy or sleepy driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the harm you have suffered. However, Pennsylvania law is complex, and your case must be handled correctly to prove the other driver was at fault, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.
Cliff Rieders wrote the book on the Financial Responsibility Law in Pennsylvania. The Financial Responsibility Law governs litigation dealing with motor vehicle and truck collisions. There is other law which may apply as well, but the complexities of the Financial Responsibility Law are a subject that Cliff Rieders is often called upon to assist both citizens and lawyers with.
Our attorneys at Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters know the courts and the system and what you need to do to win a good settlement. Our seasoned Pennsylvania attorneys have helped hundreds of people file successful personal injury lawsuits. With decades of experience and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases and have successfully represented clients in vehicle crashes of all kinds.
Drowsy and Sleep Deprived Driving Lawsuits in Pennsylvania
Drowsy driving crashes and collisions caused by sleep deprived people are particularly tragic because they are so preventable. Drivers who even suspect that they are too tired to drive should never risk their lives and the lives of others sharing the road. If people drive while too tired to react in time to prevent an accident or they fall asleep at the wheel, they may be found negligent and held liable for compensating victims of crashes that result. It is easy enough for a person to pull into a truck stop, rest area or gas station.
People who are most likely to drive while fatigued include:
- Workers who work shifts late at night, all night, or early in the morning
- Shift workers who work more than 50-60 hours a week
- Long-haul truck drivers
- People with undiagnosed sleep disorders
- Business travelers with jet lag
- People who take sleep medications and are affected the following day
If you or someone you love has been injured in a drowsy driving crash, you may receive compensation for the following damages:
- Loss of life’s pleasures prior to death, disfigurement, pain and suffering
- Medical and hospital bills and rehabilitation costs
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs, that may even include in some situations rental costs for another vehicle
- Lost income, wages, and earning capacity, past, present and future. This may also include losses in connection with services provided by a spouse
Unfortunately, winning a lawsuit for drowsy or sleepless driving in Pennsylvania can be challenging due to the difficulty of proving that the crash was caused by a driver who was sleepy or who fell asleep, especially if there are no survivors to provide clues. Reconstructing what happened requires the help of a skilled attorney experienced in dealing with drowsy driver crashes, and may require investigation and testimony from a team of expert professionals as well.
Contact a Lawyer Experienced With Drowsy Driving Litigation
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a vehicle crash caused by a drowsy driver, or any other reason, you should get immediate legal assistance to protect your rights at every stage of your liability claim.
The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania drowsy driver crash attorneys at Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters have spent decades honing their skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.
If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence, your next step should be to consult Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters by calling or using our online contact form. Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.