When a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, he or she is responsible for making safe choices. This includes avoiding distracted driving, not driving after drinking and adhering to the rules of the road. When you think about safe driving, you may not consider avoiding drowsiness as well. In reality, fatigued driving is a serious safety threat for all Oregon drivers.
Drowsy driving happens when a person gets behind the wheel when he or she is actually too tired to drive safely. Unfortunately, many people are unable or unwilling to admit when they may not be in a condition to adequately operate a motor vehicle. Like distraction or drunk driving, fatigued driving is dangerous and can lead to an increased chance of an accident.
The impact of fatigue on a driver
You may know that a tired driver is less capable of making safe choices. The effects of fatigue include slower reaction times when there is a danger present, lowered ability to focus and reduced vigilance. People who regularly do not get enough sleep are more prone to drowsy driving, but missing even a few hours of sleep can increase the chance of fatigue. You may consider the following facts about drowsy driving:
- Excessively drowsy drivers are more likely not to brake or make the effort to avoid an accident. Drowsy drivers are more prone to veer off the road or swerve into another lane.
- Most instances of drowsy driving take place at night when people are driving during hours when they would normally be asleep. Mid-afternoon is also a common time for drowsy driving.
- The majority of drowsy driving accidents take place at a high rate of speed, mostly on the interstate. However, serious accidents can still happen at slower speeds.
When a driver is yawning excessively, cannot keep his or her eyes open, or has trouble remembering the last few miles, he or she is responsible for recognizing that it may not be safe to drive.
Recovery for victims
If you suffer injuries in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you have legal options. Oregon law provides personal injury victims like you the ability to pursue compensation by filing a civil claim against the liable parties. This step allows you to seek recovery of your financial losses and appropriate damages. Many victims find it beneficial to discuss this option with an experienced attorney before moving forward.