Recently, a Tennessee driver was tragically killed in a serious car accident, which was presumed to have been caused by the driver falling asleep at the wheel of his vehicle. With many residents throughout Tennessee forced to work longer hours and extra jobs to make ends meet, drowsy driving related auto accidents is becoming a major motor vehicle safety issue. One study reports that as many as one in six car accidents is linked to drowsy driving resulting in over 5,500 drowsy driving fatalities per year. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that in excess of 60% of drivers have driven in a fatigued state at some point in time. Many of us have had the terrifying experience of dosing off and waking up in a panic startled state and discovering that we have drifted toward an adjacent lane or the shoulder of the roadway. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, we have been handling Tennessee car accident cases involving tired and fatigued drivers for over 20 years. Many traffic safety experts believe that even these alarming statistics regarding the prevalence of drowsy driving understate the problem, and based on twenty years of experience handling serious auto accident cases, we agree with this assessment.
Drowsy driving and fatigue has long been recognized as a leading cause of fatal trucking accidents but now there is an increasing focus on discouraging drivers of passenger vehicles from driving when they are sleepy. If you are sleepy, you should avoid driving, but many people have a hard time determining if they are too tired to drive safely. There are a number of indicators that may help you determine if you are too drowsy to drive including the following:
â€˘ Difficulty keeping your eyes open or concentrating on the roadway
â€˘ Your head slumping into your chest
â€˘ Inability to keep your vehicle from drifting into the next lane
â€˘ Repeated yawns
â€˘ Inability to remember driving the last stretch of roadway
Many people take steps that are only modestly effective when they feel tired behind the wheel, which may include blasting the air conditioning or radio. Ultimately, continuing to drive when one feels the need to take such drastic measures puts the driverâ€™s life and the lives of others with whom the driver shares the road at risk. The only safe answer when one experiences the symptoms of fatigue and sleepiness is to pull over and rest or arrange to have someone pick you up and drive you home. While this may be a very inconvenient solution, inconvenience is the least of your worries if you are involved in a serious Tennessee drowsy driving auto accident.
Fortunately, new technology may help drivers recognize that they are too tired to drive. Several car manufacturers now offer lane departure warning systems. These systems are designed to provide an alarm if it determines that a driver appears to be falling asleep and veering into the adjacent lane or off the roadway. Each of these systems works differently, but one version even uses infrared sensors to gauge eyelid movement.
Another new system that has been manufactured by a Danish company and is not yet available in the U.S. works by asking drivers to complete a questionnaire which asks questions regarding a persons work hours, medications and similar factors that may cause fatigue or drowsiness to determine the driverâ€™s drowsy driving risk. The warning device stores the information and compares the time of the day, the number of hours that the driver has been driving without a break and other relevant factors. The warning system will display a light and emit a sound. If the driver is too slow to push a button to stop the warning, the device will indicate that the driver is too fatigued or drowsy to drive.
Hopefully, safety features like these that help reduce the risk posed by drowsy drivers will eventually become standard equipment in new cars and help reduce the number of Tennessee drowsy driving auto accidents. In the meantime, Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz will continue to represent clients throughout Tennessee who suffer serious injuries or wrongful death at the hands of drowsy or fatigued drivers. If you are involved in a fatigue related car accident anywhere in Tennessee, the attorneys at NST Law can help you receive the full compensation to which you may be legally entitled. Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz has offices in Memphis, Jackson and Knoxville, Tennessee; Jackson, Mississippi; and Jonesboro, Arkansas with the experience and resources necessary to fully investigate and help successfully resolve your Tennessee drowsy driving auto accident case. Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, PLC is the largest plaintiffâ€™s law firm in Tennessee that helps injured people recover compensation due to someone elseâ€™s negligence. Call us today for your free no obligation initial consultation with a Tennessee car accident attorney at 1-800-LAW-4004 (1-800-529-4004) or visit us on the web at www.nstlaw.com. No matter where you are in Tennessee, NST Law is just a phone call away.
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