According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, a total of 1,277 people were killed in auto accidents and 100,525 people were hurt in auto accidents in 2014. Many of these motorists were involved in accidents caused, at least in part, by driver fatigue.
According to DrowsyDriving.org, fatigued driving has become one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Around 60 percent of adult drivers have admitted to drowsy driving over the course of the year, and 37 percent of adult drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving. These drowsy motorists cause more than 100,000 car accidents nationwide each year, leading to approximately 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities.
Drowsy drivers are dangerous and more likely to cause collisions because their fatigue impairs them in similar ways as alcohol impairs drunk drivers. A motorist who is overtired may have impaired cognitive function, slower reflexes, and delayed reaction time. The fatigued driver’s judgement is affected.
If a driver is fatigued and causes a collision, that motorist should be liable for losses under North Carolina’s fault rules. Car accident victims, and surviving family members of victims killed in fatal crashes, should be able to recover compensation for economic and non-financial loss. Those pursuing a case for damages must prove fatigue, or other negligent driver behavior, was the direct cause of the collision. Proving fatigue can be challenging due to a lack of objective tests for drowsiness.
A Charlotte, NC auto accident lawyer can provide assistance in pursuing a case if an accident is caused by drowsy driving. Contact an attorney for help right away following a collision.