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What to do if you were injured by a drowsy driver in Arizona

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Getting behind the wheel when you haven't had enough sleep may not seem like a very serious offense to many. However, one out of every 25 adult drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving within one 30-day period, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2013, drowsy driving was the cause of at least 72,000 crashes and 800 fatalities. The Department of Transportation believes that many drowsy driving fatalities go unreported, and the number may actually be closer to 6,000 each year.

Of the many deadly hazards on Arizona roads, drowsy driving is easily preventable. Unfortunately, many people still drive while tired.

How does drowsy driving affect me?

You may be taking your life in your own hands just driving to and from work every day. While you may have control over how tired you are before getting in your car, you don't have control over other motorists. Truckers, commuters, tourists and inexperienced drivers share the road with you each day, putting you and your family in danger.

The most dangerous times on the road are in the late afternoon or between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.

Drowsy driving is caused by more than a lack of sleep

Drowsy driving is driving while fatigued or sleepy. In many cases, drivers are tired because they have not had enough sleep. It can also be a result of alcohol consumption, use of prescription drugs, shift work, or untreated sleep disorders. All of these may affect a driver's ability to:

  • Make logical decisions
  • Pay close attention to his or her driving
  • Notice changing road conditions
  • React quickly to traffic slow-downs, stopped vehicles, or objects on the road

How to hold negligent drivers responsible in Arizona

Arizona laws hold people who drive while drowsy responsible for injuries or deaths they cause. This means that you may be compensated for any lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering that resulted from a motor vehicle accident caused by a drowsy driver. However, it can sometimes be difficult to prove that a driver was too tired to drive.

What to look for

If you were in an accident that you suspect was caused by a drowsy driver, remember the details of your accident and what you saw before it happened. The actions of a drowsy driver can easily be mistaken for those of someone who is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Drowsy driving may be a factor in an accident if a driver exhibits some of the following behaviors:

  • Seems to ignore traffic signals or signs
  • Frequently yawns and blinks
  • Repeatedly drives over the rumble strip at the side of the road
  • Weaves in and out of lanes

If a drowsy driver was responsible for a motor vehicle accident in which you sustained injuries, seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney from the law firm of Steve German, A Law Firm, will evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options.

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