Have you ever been driving down the road and noticed a driver in front of you exhibiting erratic behavior? Perhaps he or she was serving, drifting from lane to lane or moving at erratic speeds. You may think this means the driver is either distracted or drunk, but it is possible this behavior could indicate drowsy driving.
Most people have probably gotten behind the wheel while a little sleepy. However, there is a distinct difference between driving while a little tired and driving while dangerously fatigued. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to realize when they may be too sleepy to safely navigate the roads and operate a vehicle. Fatigued driving significantly increases the chance of an accident.
Underestimating a serious risk to motorists
Drowsy driving may be a more serious problem than you realized. When a person is excessively sleepy, he or she may exhibit behaviors such as swerving or inability to maintain a consistent speed. Tired drivers may miss their exits, have trouble remembering the last few miles they've driven and even struggle to keep their eyes open. Some people are more prone to this, including the following:
- People who have to take medications that make them sleepy
- People who do not sleep well or have chronic sleep issues
- People who work certain jobs, such as shift workers
- People who work as commercial truck drivers
Sleepiness is more than just an inconvenience or the benign side effect of not getting enough sleep the night before. It can make drivers unable to mentally focus on the road, and it can drastically slow a driver's reaction times. As you may know, fatigued drivers are less able to make smart decisions behind the wheel and react when there are hazards.
You may not think that fatigue is a significant danger until you find yourself injured after an accident caused by a tired driver who made a poor decision while driving, failed to react appropriately or fell asleep.
What are your rights?
If you are the victim of an accident caused by a fatigued driver, you have the right to fight back. Kentucky law allows victims of negligence or reckless behaviors to pursue appropriate compensation through a civil claim. If you think this is a viable option for you, it may be helpful to first seek a complete evaluation of your case, assessment of your options and guidance regarding the optimal way forward.