What Evidence Can Be Used To Prove Drowsy Driving?
An alarming number of car accidents are caused by drowsy driving every year. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there were 91,000 police-reported crashes involving drowsy drivers in 2017 alone. These collisions resulted in an estimated 50,000 injuries and at least 800 deaths. Traffic safety experts, however, believe that this is actually an underestimation of the true impact of drowsy driving in the U.S. Proving that an accident was caused by a driver falling asleep at the wheel, however, can be complicated, making it especially important for accident victims who believe that their collision was the result of drowsy driving, to reach out to an experienced lawyer who can investigate the cause of the crash.
Causes of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving has a number of causes besides just driving while lacking sleep , including:
- Untreated sleep disorders;
- Working long hours or night shifts;
- Taking prescription or over-the-counter medications that cause drowsiness; and
- Driving while intoxicated.
All of these actions can make it much more likely that a person will fall asleep at the wheel and cause an accident. Even just driving while drowsy can be dangerous, as it:
- Makes it harder to pay attention to the road;
- Slows down reaction times, including braking and steering; and
- Affects a driver’s decision-making ability.
Drowsy driving occurs a lot more than most people realize. One survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for instance, revealed that one out of every 25 adult drivers reported having fallen asleep while driving sometime in the previous month.
Evidence of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy drivers can be held liable for causing or contributing to a car accident. This, however, is only possible for those who can provide strong evidence of the at-fault driver’s negligence. To prove that a driver fell asleep at the wheel, an injured party will need access to:
- Statements from eyewitnesses who saw the accident occur and observed the other driver sleeping, or even just noticed signs of drowsiness, like a driver swerving out of his or her lane;
- Testimony from expert witnesses who, by reconstructing the accident, can determine an at-fault driver’s actions before a crash;
- The police report, which will include the results of the officer’s preliminary investigation, including whether he or she thought drowsy driving contributed to the crash;
- Medical records, which can be used to show that a driver suffered from a sleeping disorder, or was taking medication that causes drowsiness; and
- The other driver’s work records, which can show that the drowsy driver worked a late shift before the crash.
For help collecting the kinds of evidence you’ll need to prove a drowsy driving claim, reach out to our legal team today.
Call an Experienced Maitland Car Accident Lawyer
If you were involved in a car accident and believe that it was caused by drowsy driving, don’t hesitate to call 407-960-1900 and speak with an experienced Maitland car accident lawyer at Goldman Law, P.A. about your legal options.