Causes and Consequences of Drowsy Driving in New Jersey

November 13, 2022

Drowsy Driving Accident Attorneys in Monmouth County NJ

Drowsy, Sleepy, or Fatigued Driving is Dangerous, Often Resulting in Accidents in Freehold, Asbury Park, Manasquan, Holmdel, throughout Southern New Jersey.

Causes and Consequences of Drowsy Driving in New JerseyDrowsy driving is a severe problem in New Jersey. Every year, drowsy driving accidents claim the lives of hundreds of people and injure thousands more. Drowsy driving is a preventable problem, but it is often overlooked or underestimated. So, what is Drowsy Driving? Drowsy driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle while being impaired by fatigue. In addition to lack of sleep and long hours of driving, fatigue can result from work shifts that interfere with standard sleep patterns. Drowsy driving is dangerous because it impairs a driving attention capacity, the driver’s ability to remain in control of the vehicle, react to changes in traffic, reduce reaction times to unexpected road hazards like wildlife, and make reasonable and sound decisions.

How Common are Drowsy Driving Accidents in New Jersey?

In 2018, there were 3,050 motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey that involved drowsy driving, according to the New Jersey State Police. These crashes resulted in 814 injuries and 34 fatalities. Certain elements can increase a person’s risk of drowsy driving. These include:

Not getting enough sleep

Most individuals require 7-8ew hours of sleep per night.

Driving Long Distances

Driving for more than two hours without taking a break can make you more likely to get tired. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines a “microsleep” as a brief period in which one loses consciousness for less than four seconds. During such a microsleep, an individual traveling 55 miles per hour could awake 100 yards further into their travels which is more than enough time for a major collision to occur.

Driving at Night

The body’s natural circadian rhythms make it harder to stay awake.

Taking Certain Medications

Some medications can cause Drowsiness as a side effect.

Having Certain Medical Conditions

Sleep disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy can increase the risk of drowsy driving accidents.

Common Types of Drowsy Driving Accidents

The most common type of drowsy driving accident is a single-vehicle crash, where the driver falls asleep at the wheel and veers off the road. These accidents are often serious because the driver may not have time to brake or take evasive action before hitting something. Multi-vehicle accidents can also occur when a drowsy driver rear-ends another vehicle or drifts into oncoming traffic.

Occupations With High Drowsy Driving Accidents Rates

There are certain occupations that put people at an increased risk for drowsy driving accidents. These include truck drivers, taxi drivers, doctors, nurses, and other shift workers who work long hours or overnight shifts. Driving fatigued from lack of sleep is incredibly risky. Being awake for 18 hours has the same effect on your reaction time as having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05%. Being awake for 24 hours has the same effect as a BAC of .10%.

Tips to Prevent Drowsy Driving Accidents

The best method to prevent drowsy driving calamities is to adhere to a good sleep schedule. In other words, you are getting enough sleep before getting behind the wheel. Shift workers, long haul truckers, or anyone preparing to go on a long road trip should allot breaks every two to three hours to rest and rejuvenate themselves. At a minimum, take breaks to stretch and take a cat nap. Regarding napping, the Sleep Foundation says a 20 minutes nap is ideal but no longer than 30 minutes to boost productivity and memory, reduce cardiovascular risks, and keep daytime Drowsy Driver Caused an Accident in Monmouth County NJ drowsiness at bay. However, this napping is intended to relieve tiredness or refresh individuals, not as a replacement for night-time or deep sleep.

When late-night driving is unavoidable, ensure you are well-rested before starting and keep your eyes open for signs of getting too tired (e.g., yawning, difficulty keeping your head up). Should you have and take prescriptions or supplements that could provoke drowsiness, it may be wise to talk to your physician about whether it’s safe to operate a motor vehicle or any heavy machinery and equipment under such conditions.

Signs of Drowsiness Behind the Wheel

There are several common signs of drowsiness while driving. These include yawning, difficulty keeping your eyes open, nodding off, daydreaming, missing exits or turns, wandering thoughts, and feeling restless or irritable. If you experience any of these signs, it is essential to pull over and rest.

Injuries Resulting from Accidents due to Drowsy Drivers

Drowsy driving can cause serious injuries stemming from car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. Wounds inflicted by drowsy driving accidents can be very severe, with the most common including but not limited to being caused by drowsy drivers including whiplash, broken bones, spinal injuries, traumatic brain trauma, and concussions. Unfortunately, such damages can be expensive to treat and therapies; many require long-term care, and others are life-altering.

Compensation for Drowsy Driving Accident Damages

Medical costs, lost earnings or wages, and pain and suffering may be reimbursable if a drowsy driver has injured you. Although victims have a right to seek fair compensation, doing so requires considerable effort and understanding of complex laws. Individuals who have suffered an injury derived from a drowsy driving accident will need to file a claim or lawsuit, collect evidence, and keep organized records of all pertinent documentation. Essential documents are typically related to accidents, injuries, police reports, and healthcare paperwork. Gathering proof is also vital to successfully acquire the compensation they deserve. The injured party may also have to deal with medical bills that pile up quickly and other related debts that can add to their suffering.

Learn How the Attorneys at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh Can Help You Handle Your Claim for Drowsy Driving Injuries

A skilled lawyer familiar with auto accidents and personal injury law can assist you in navigating the complexities of the NJ legal system, collecting and identifying key evidence, and putting all applicable statutes to work for your case, all in efforts to ensuring it’s successful. Fortunately, you have arrived at the right place at the right time. The experienced New Jersey personal injury and car accident attorneys at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh can review the details of your case and answer your questions if you have been subjected to injuries and the many losses incurred as a result of traumatic accidents in Old Bridge, Sayreville, Howell, Tinton Falls, Wall, Colts Neck, and across Monmouth and Middlesex Counties. Call today at 732-440-3950 to learn more and receive a free consultation.