If you get into a car accident, there is a chance that fatigue played a role in causing the crash to happen. Approximately one out of every three people in the United States fails to get sufficient rest, which experts suggest is between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. If a motorist has not gotten enough sleep and is behind the wheel, that driver faces a significantly greater likelihood of getting into an automobile accident. When such a car crash happens, dealing with the aftermath of the sleepy driving accident can be very difficult.
According to NPR, approximately 20 percent of deadly U.S. car accidents involve a fatigued driver. This means there is around a one in five chance an accident will involve someone who was tired at the time of the crash.
If the car accident does involve a fatigued driver, there is a good chance the tired motorist was at fault or did something that caused the crash to happen. If a person gets just four to five hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, the driver faces four times the chances of a crash due to the impairment caused by the fatigue. The tired driver may have dozed off, or simply not been able to focus and caused a crash to happen.
If the fatigued driver was to blame for an accident, the tired motorist should be held accountable for losses. Unfortunately, this is where problems arise in the aftermath of a drowsy driving accident. The issue is, it can sometimes be hard to prove the tired driver's fatigue was the cause of the crash.
A driver who has gotten only four to five hours of sleep faces the same increased risk of causing an auto accident as someone whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit. In the case of a drunk driving accident, though, there is an objective test to take. The driver's blood could be tested or other tests could be performed to precisely measure the level of alcohol in his system. This would make it easy to show he was drunk, and thus a presumption would be created that the intoxicated driver caused the crash so he could be held accountable.
If a driver was too tired, on the other hand, how can you know this and how can you prove it? Unless the driver admits to falling asleep or to not paying attention because of his fatigue, it will be a matter of trying to piece together what happened so victims can prove a car accident case against the fatigued driver. An experienced attorney can help to make a case against a drowsy driver by finding and obtaining evidence, including expert testimony from a crash reconstruction specialist who can help to demonstrate how the crash occurred.