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Drowsy Driving Accidents - They Are More Common That You Think!
This week ahead many people in the state of California will lose one hour of sleep because of the daylight saving changes that are taking place. It is fair to say that this loss of sleep is something that the majority of people don't exactly look forward to, especially a busy personal injury lawyer Riverside.
These daylight saving changes coincide with a poll carried out by the National Sleep Awareness Foundation who suggest that one in ten people in the US don't get sufficient sleep. The poll focussed mainly on people who work within the transportation industry and suggest that workers who have less than seven hours sleep per night are more than three times as likely to make errors that could result in an accident. A sleepless night affects a driver in many ways and someone who is chronically fatigued is at a much higher risk of making sometimes fatal errors. A distinct lack of sleep can also lead to a lack of situational awareness and ultimately poor judgemental decisions
A Riverside personal injury attorney states that some figures suggest that as many as 1 million accidents are caused each and every year through fatigue or lack of sleep and these accidents have resulted in many injuries as well as in some cases, fatalities. The problem has gotten so serious in recent years that the National Transportation Board (NTB) has also been voicing their concerns about drowsy driving. In fact it has now become high on the agenda of safety recommendations, but not before time. Other departments such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Registration have introduced new rules governing the amount of hours a trucker can spend behind the wheel. On top of this the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have also stated that pilots must have at least 10 hours rest in between shifts and on longer haul flights experiments are in place where the pilot has controlled 15 minute naps.
With this in mind, the NTB recently and publicly showed its support for Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, which alerted drivers to the dangers and pitfalls of driving whilst fatigued, and although they state that it is "a top priority on their agenda" they have yet to come up with any changes in the rulings.
Clearly drivers have to take a big responsibility in drowsy driving accidents and as result if a person knows that they have a long or particularly demanding journey the next day, then it should be their responsibility to make sure that they have had sufficient sleep. However it is fair to say that the law could also do more by making drowsy drivers more accountable for their actions or indeed inactions. If as a driver you are feeling fatigued, then the best thing to do is to pull over and stop. Grab a coffee and take some rest, and stay as long as it takes for you to feel reasonably refreshed again. It is advisable that if you are feeling tired, then simply winding down the windows and turning up the radio might not be enough.
If you have been involved in a drowsy driving accident through no fault of your own then it may pay you to seek the services of a personal injury lawyer in Riverside County. They have the ability to be able to get to the bottom of an incident and find out what exactly happened and who is to blame. Even if you are deemed primarily at fault for the incident the right representing attorney can call upon a myriad of independent experts who are able to identify the root cause of the accident. From this they can present their investigations back the attorney who can then seek to build a case.
Until laws become much more stringent and place the onus upon the individuals concerned and the companies that employ them, drowsy driving accidents will keep occurring. Every driver needs to take responsibility for their actions and only then might we be able to put an end to fatigued driving once and for all.