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Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel

Posted on January 27, 2017

A recent report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drivers who sleep only five or six hours in a 24-hour period are twice as likely to get into a car accident as drivers who get at least seven hours of sleep.

Drowsy driving is not an uncommon problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adult Americans don’t get the recommended seven or more hours of sleep each night. That means there are millions of drivers on the roads who are not well-rested. If more people got the recommended amount of sleep, that could go a long way to preventing the 32,000 deaths and two million injuries that are caused by car accidents every year.

In fact, the AAA report concluded that drowsy driving is a factor in more than one in five fatal car crashes in the United States.

Examples of Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel

In November, a driver on Interstate-244 in Tulsa fell asleep and crashed into a barrier on the side of the highway. The car’s passenger was injured in the accident and taken to the hospital. The driver told Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers that he fell asleep.

On Thanksgiving, a pickup truck was driving on a country road in Major County when he fell asleep and drove through a stop sign without stopping. A sedan crashed into the truck, causing numerous injuries. The truck driver and two passengers were thrown from the pickup, which rolled over, while the sedan caught on fire. Five juveniles between the ages of 9 and 18 were taken to the hospital.

In September, an 18-year-old Tulsa man fell asleep while driving and crashed into a telephone pole and landscaping rocks. He was partially ejected from his vehicle and was killed.

Signs of Drowsy Driving

Sometimes drivers have no warning before falling asleep at the wheel, but in many instances, there are warning signs, including:

  • Drifting into another lane;
  • Having trouble keeping your eyes open; and
  • Not remembering the last few miles you have driven.

If any of these things happen to you while you’re driving, you should pull over immediately.

Contact Our Office for Assistance

It is imperative that you reach out to a skilled attorney if you need assistance in filing a personal injury claim. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel, contact the law office of Charles Bryan Alred, P.C., today.