Chicago Driver Fatigue Car Accident Lawyer: Chicago, Illinois
Driver fatigue is a danger that causes thousands of accidents each year. Research to quantify the exact numbers of fatigue-related accidents is much more complicated than injury cases of alcohol-impaired accidents because there is no measurable test.
With extensive experience in resolving Chicago auto accident cases, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC uses proven litigation techniques to obtain direct evidence of a driver's sleep habits at the time of a collision. Our tactics allow our personal injury lawyers to establish that fatigue contributed to an auto accident when the case is presented to a judge and jury.
Our personal injury attorneys currently represent accident victims throughout Illinois, and the Chicago area, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Chicago, Cicero, Elgin, Naperville, Rockford, and Schaumburg.
We work directly with the insurance company to negotiate an acceptable out-of-court settlement to recoup your medical expenses and time away from work. If you or a loved one were injured in a driving accident, contact our Chicago car accident attorneys today for an initial consultation and free case evaluation.
Driver Fatigue car Accident FAQs
How Many car Accidents are Caused by Fatigue?
The Virginia Tech Transportation study revealed fatigue causes one out of every five automobile accidents in the United States every year. The study showed that young motorists are at greater risk of driving tired of all drivers on the road.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) revealed statistics that show that more than 6000 automobile accident fatalities are caused by drowsy driving every year. This number of wrongful deaths is higher than those caused by drunk drivers and driver error.
What Causes Fatigue While Driving?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatigue is caused by mental and physical exertion. Without resting, the driver's impairment could decrease their performance while operating the vehicle.
Their study showed that fatigue might result from working extended hours, a lack of sufficient sleep, performing strenuous work, or a combination of work and non-work activities. Prescription medications or over-the-counter remedies for treating the flu, cough, cold, and other medical conditions can also cause fatigue.
How Many Accidents are Caused by Drowsy Driving?
Statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that approximately 10,000 crashes reported to local law enforcement involved fatigue. These accidents resulted in over 70,000 minor to catastrophic injuries and 1550 deaths.
What are the Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving?
Drivers operating a motor vehicle while fatigued could diminish their performance, resulting in accidents with serious injuries and death. The warning signs surrounding drowsy driving include missing an accident, frequently blinking or yawning, and challenges in remembering what just happened or where you are.
Fatigued motorists will often hit the rumble strip on the roadway while driving at an aggressive speed without realizing what happened. Other drowsy drivers will drift from their lane unexpectedly.
Who Most Often Falls Asleep While Driving?
Statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that males are significantly more likely to drive while fatigued than women. Men are twice as likely to fall asleep while operating a vehicle.
Commercial truck drivers maintaining irregular schedules (extended number of hours of work) under stress from tight delivery deadlines are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel. Shift workers leaving their job during the night or early morning hours are more likely to drive drowsy than other workers with traditional work schedules.
What are Some Signs That Tell That You are Fatigued?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are apparent warning signs of driving drowsy that include:
- Cramps and stiffness
- A ringing or humming in the ears
- Fuzzy or blurry vision
- Heavy or sore eyes
- Excessive yawning
- Overall tiredness
- Pains and aches
- Seeing things in the roadway that are not there
- Changing lanes unexpectedly
- Delayed reaction time
- Unintentionally increasing or decreasing the vehicle's speed
- Fumbling when changing gears, radio stations, or climate control
Slowed Reaction Time due to Drowsiness
Fatigue leads to car accidents because it impairs reaction time, reduces attentiveness, and causes problems with processing and integrating information. The danger with sleepiness is that once a driver sits still, gets bored, or drives long distances, they start to let down their coping defenses that could lead to falling asleep at the wheel.
Ordinary Circumstances Involved in Driver Fatigue Motor Vehicle Accidents
There are circumstances or characteristics to determine if driver fatigue was involved in the accident, including:
- An accident occurs during late night/early morning hours or mid-afternoon
- Serious crash
- A single-vehicle leaving the road
- High-speed road
- The driver does not attempt to avoid a crash
- The motorist is alone
- A driver is with family members or close friends
- Commercial truckers failing to follow federal regulations by not taking breaks, leading to truck driver fatigue
Groups at higher risk for fatigue-related crashes include young people (16-29) and shift workers who work at night or long and irregular hours. The risk group also includes those who use sedative medications or have untreated or unrecognized sleep disorders (sleep apnea, narcolepsy).
Many trucking accidents result from working long hours, where the trucking company imposes unrealistic goals for the trucker to meet tight deadlines when delivering goods and products on time.
Explanations Behind the Outbreak of Sleepy Drivers
There are several causes of drowsy driving, including acute sleep loss, job-related sleep restriction, personal demands, lifestyle choices, sleep fragmentation, and circadian factors.
Seven to nine hours of sleep is needed for optimal performance, and less than four hours of sleep impairing attentiveness. Drivers can create a sleep debt causing chronic sleepiness by losing one to two hours of sleep a night.
Improving the Safety of Drivers, Passengers & Other Sharing the Road
Educating people about steps they can take to reduce driver fatigue risk could help reduce the incidence of fatigue-related accidents. Simple suggestions like getting enough sleep, not drinking alcohol when sleepy, and limiting driving between midnight and 6 a.m. might make a difference.
Motorists must recognize driver fatigue to decrease the potential of being involved in an accident. Sleepy drivers should stop and take a nap and have caffeine or have a passenger take turns driving.
Stimulants such as caffeine can mask how sleepy a person is when driving. Getting adequate sleep and preventing drowsiness our better than taking remedial measures.
Educating the public about safe driving is essential. Installed rumble strips effectively alert drivers of possible impairment. The number of driver fatigue-related accidents can be reduced if motorists take steps to avoid driving drowsy.
Hiring a Chicago Driver Fatigue car Accident Attorney
Were you or a family member involved in a severe car accident? If so, our Chicago automobile accident attorneys would like to speak to you regarding your legal rights.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our team is experienced at prosecuting these matters and work hard to get to the underlying cause of the crash.
All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Our Chicago car accident lawyers follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).