Sleep Disorders Prove a Leading Cause of Drowsy Driving Accidents

man with sleep disorder, yawning and driving

While distracted driving and drunk driving are among the leading causes of fatal car crashes, they aren’t the only ones. Unfortunately, many of us have driven while tired at some point. Drowsy driving also accounts for many fatal car crashes as well. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA), almost 800 traffic fatalities were the result of drowsy driving accidents. 

What Causes Drowsy Driving?

Most likely you won’t just fall asleep behind the wheel without first experiencing warning signs – unless you suffer from a sleep disorder. 

Drowsy driving is caused by:

  • Early morning driving
  • Mid-late afternoon driving
  • Working the night shift
  • Long periods of driving without breaks
  • Driving for long periods of time on isolated roadways
  • Inadequate amounts of sleep

So what are the warning signs? If you experience any of the following while driving you could risk falling asleep behind the wheel:

  • Yawning
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Frequent blinking

If you experience any of these signs or you have difficulty remembering the last few miles that you have driven, it’s important that you get off of the road as soon as possible. 

If you frequently find yourself driving drowsy, you may have an undiagnosed and/or untreated sleep disorder, such as:

  • Insomnia – the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Narcolepsy – a condition in which people may fall asleep without warning
  • Sleep apnea – a serious condition in which there is a disruption to normal patterns of breathing while asleep
  • Restless leg syndrome – a condition in which a sensation in the leg, which presents an uncontrollable urge to move it, makes it hard to fall asleep

Are You Negligent if You Drive with a Sleep Disorder?

If you believe that you have a sleep disorder, you should not be driving until you are diagnosed and receive proper treatment. Additionally, if you suffer from a condition such as narcolepsy, which can cause you daytime sleepiness you may not be authorized to drive and if you do, you could be breaking the law. 

That’s why it’s so important that you understand what to do if you are injured in an accident with a drowsy driver. The first thing to do is to contact a knowledgeable and experienced New Mexico personal injury attorney.

MPJ Law Firm Can Help Those in NM Who Have Been Injured in An Accident with a Drowsy Diver

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a drowsy driver, it can greatly impact your life. It can be difficult enough dealing with your substantial injuries, but it can be even harder when you are left to pick up the pieces financially. You should never have to pay the price for someone else’s mistakes. 

At MPJ Law Firm, we have a deep understanding of personal injury accidents and understand the effects that such accidents often have on just about all aspects of your life. We will always act in your best interest. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Automobile Accidents