California Dreaming Can Become a Nightmare
A driver of a truck fell asleep at the wheel while driving from California to Colorado, killing his four relatives who were passengers. The accident occurred on I-70 in Salina, Utah when the truck swerved across lanes of traffic and rolled off the shoulder of the road, ejecting the passengers who were not wearing seatbelts.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 100,000 car accidents caused by drowsy drivers each year. These accidents leave 1,500 dead and 71,000 badly injured. About two percent of all motor vehicle accidents resulting in injuries and 2.5 percent resulting in fatalities are the result of drowsy or sleeping drivers.
The danger caused by falling asleep at the wheel is especially present in a large state like California, with its vast highways and dependence on motor vehicles to get to work. A driver who falls asleep while driving can cause a deadly accident in an instant. The driver can lose control of the vehicle and not have the awareness to be able to regain control, or strike a pedestrian or bicyclist. Even if the driver does not fall asleep completely, sleep-deprived driving, as does drunk driving, decreases a driver’s vision, reaction time and ability to make good decisions. Here are several situations that might cause a driver to fall asleep:
- The truck driver on all night interstate travel
- The parent making an early morning drive to take a child to college
- Driving home from a late night dinner party
- Returning home from working the night shift
- Leaving for work without a full night’s sleep
- Driving a motor vehicle after taking medication that has a side effect of causing drowsiness
If you or a family member has been hurt in a car accident caused by a drowsy or sleeping driver, it is important to have the help of an experienced California car accident attorney. We can discuss your rights against the reckless driver and their insurance company at a free consultation.