Tired Texas Drivers — A Dangerous Problem On Our Roads

Tired driver -- woman sleeping behind wheel

With job duties and family obligations, getting enough sleep can be an impossible dream. Unfortunately, you’re not alone. Texas roads are filled with sleep-deprived drivers who put you at risk of an accident.

60 percent of drivers admit to having driven while feeling drowsy during the previous 12 months and a whopping 37 percent have actually fallen asleep at the wheel, with 4 percent crashing as a result. And 13 percent of drivers chronically drove tired, falling asleep at least once a month.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates sleep-deprivation causes 100,000 car crashes every year, resulting in 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 injuries. Look what happened to Tracy Morgan and his friend when they were crashed into by the Walmart driver who had been behind the wheel of a tractor trailer for over 24 hours.

What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

Sleep deprivation has immediate physical effects on your body. These symptoms can result in an automobile accident:

  • Decreased alertness
  • Distractibility
  • Memory loss
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Poor performance
  • Delayed reactions
  • And of course, nodding off

Driving drowsy has many of the same risks as driving drunk. Yet, there is not a Breathalyzer-like test to determine if a driver is too tired to be behind the wheel, making these dangerous drives almost impossible to identify.

How and Why to Prove Sleeplessness Caused Your Accident

Numerous studies have concluded that lack of sleep affects driving safety, but fatigued drivers are difficult to detect. However, while investigating your auto accident, an attorney has ways to determine whether the other driver was too tired to be behind the wheel.

He can analyze the evidence for signs of tired driving. For example, did the other driver drifted into your lane, veered off the road or slammed into your car without applying brakes? This conduct could be evidence of drunk, texting, distracted or tired driving. 

He can eliminate drunk driving through Breathalyzer results, field sobriety tests results and the police officer’s reports. He can subpoena phone records to rule out texting or cell phone use. He can then consider evidence from passengers and witnesses, study work schedules, and depose the driver to find out how much sleep he got to assess whether the driver was negligently tired.

No Law Against Driving Tired in Texas

Commercial drivers are subject to federal regulations that require rest breaks, limit drive and shift times and mandate accurate logs. But, incredibly, there is no law that bans motorists from driving tired in Texas.

This doesn’t mean that a tried motorist cannot be held accountable for causing a car crash. I mean tired…..zzz … 

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