Drowsy Driving Accident Attorneys in Biloxi
In today’s modern age, we have more demands on our time than ever before. With a growing number of people burning the candle at both ends, one of the things that often ends up getting sacrificed is sleep. The average driver is getting fewer hours of sleep every night, and this is causing more and more cases of drowsiness and fatigue when motorists get behind the wheel.
Drowsy driving is a growing problem in Mississippi and throughout the nation. According to a National Sleep Foundation study, 60% of adult drivers report having driven a vehicle while drowsy within the past year. Even more scary, 37% report having fallen asleep while behind the wheel.
Nodding off to sleep for even just a brief moment (while driving) can result in disastrous consequences, including accidents with serious injuries and fatalities. And when someone is injured or killed because of a distracted driver, they (or their loved ones) deserve to be fully compensated.
If you or someone close to you has suffered injury in a drowsy driving accident in Gulfport or anywhere in Mississippi, Louisiana, or on the Gulf Coast, you need a legal advocate who is looking out for your best interests. Insurance companies will do everything they can to undermine your claim. Before speaking to anyone from the other party’s insurer, call the experienced auto accident lawyers at Reeves and Mestayer for a free consultation.
At Reeves and Mestayer, we have many years of experience representing individuals who have been injured through no fault of their own. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of personal injury law, and we have a successful track record with even the most complex cases. We have gone up against big companies across a wide range of industries, and we have secured numerous large verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. This is one of the major reasons so many of our clients are referrals from people who know us and have seen us in action.
The Risk of Drowsy Driving Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drowsy driving is responsible for approximately 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 fatalities annually. But the CDC goes on to say that these numbers vastly underestimate the problem. Oftentimes, drowsiness and fatigue does not show up in a police report after an accident, and the CDC says that as many as 6,000 fatal crashes may be caused by drowsy driving each year.
The hazards associated with drowsy driving are not limited to just falling asleep at the wheel, although that is clearly the worst possible result. But even if a driver does not fall asleep, being sleepy and fatigued still increases the risk of accidents.
Tired and fatigued drivers tend to be less attentive on the road, causing them to miss important details. They also tend to have slower reaction times, which could make them unable to brake or steer in time if they encounter adverse road conditions. All in all, drowsy drivers generally make poorer driving decisions, which puts everyone else on the road in greater danger.
Who is Most Likely to Drive While Drowsy?
At some point in our lives, most of us who are licensed drivers have made the mistake of getting behind the wheel when we were too tired. Drowsy driving can happen to anyone who has not gotten the proper amount of rest. But that said, there are certain groups that run a higher risk of driving while drowsy or fatigued:
- Shift Workers: Individuals who put in long hours, particularly during evenings and overnights, or those who start early in the morning.
- Drivers with Untreated Sleep Disorders: Drivers with sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea) that are untreated run the risk of nodding off at the wheel.
- Intoxicated Drivers: Motorists who consume alcohol or sleep-inducing medications often get tired or sleepy when they drive.
- Commercial Drivers: Those who operate vehicles for a living; such as semi-truck drivers, tow truck drivers, bus drivers, taxicab drivers, and those who drive for ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber.
Over-the-road long haul truckers are among the groups that are most susceptible to drowsy driving. Big rig truck drivers fit into multiple risk categories. They drive commercially for very long hours, often during the evening and overnight hours. And the CDC reports that as many as one third of all commercial truckers have mild to severe sleep apnea.
Trucking companies do not help matters by putting undue pressure on their drivers to deliver their loads on time. Truck drivers often have to deal with unrealistic deadlines, which forces them to choose between violating federal Hours of Service guidelines to stay on schedule and pulling over at a truck stop to get the rest they need. When this happens and it results in a catastrophic accident, it is very important to work with experienced legal counsel to help ensure that all parties responsible are held fully accountable.
How to Prevent Drowsy Driving
As the previously cited statistics show, drowsy driving is not isolated to only the risk categories mentioned above. 60% of the adult driving population has done it, so we all need to be aware of the dangers that this might happen to us. There are several things we can do to avoid driving while drowsy, here are some of the most helpful:
- Always get a minimum of six hours of sleep before taking a trip;
- As much as possible, travel during daylight hours;
- Schedule regular breaks every couple of hours or so while traveling;
- Listen to your body – whenever you are feeling tired, pull over and take a nap before you resume travel.
Speak with a Skilled and Compassionate Biloxi, MS Drowsy Driving Accident Attorney
At Reeves and Mestayer, we understand the untold physical, emotional, and financial toll drowsy driving accidents can take on victims and their families, and we are committed to making the legal process as smooth and stress-free as possible. We deal directly with the other side, and we handle all of the complicated legal tasks – so you can focus on getting recovered and putting your life back on track.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys, message us online or call our office today at 1-855-558-2977. We will meet with you to thoroughly review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options, so you can make the most informed decision on how you wish to proceed.