The case of a woman trapped inside her car for hours until daylight arrived after she fell asleep at the wheel and drove into a ditch highlights a problem that Illinois drivers frequently experience. Driving drowsy, even if only for a moment or two, can result in serious or even fatal auto accidents. The woman thought that she was not tired enough to pull over to the side of the road and sleep. Instead, she ended up nodding off, causing her car to roll violently into an area where motorists where unable to see the twisted wreck until daylight while she clung to life inside.
Drowsy driving has become a serious safety issue. Several government agencies and research groups have performed studies showing that fatigue is a growing problem and can be just as serious as drunk driving. In 2011, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System showed that approximately 2 percent of fatal accidents occurred because a driver was fatigued or asleep at the wheel. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has stated, however, that these statistics don't tell the whole story and that the problem may be more difficult to quantify.
An NHTSA survey has found that 60 percent of drivers have admitted to driving while drowsy during the past year. This statistic has implications when fatigued drivers have passengers in their vehicle or when people in other vehicles are injured.
Individuals who believe they have suffered as a result of an accident caused by a drowsy driver may be able to file legal suits for negligence, medical expenses and pain and suffering endured because of injuries. Experienced Illinois attorneys may be able to assess individual situations to see whether drowsy driving and negligence factored into their auto accident and help their clients file appropriate lawsuits to gain compensation.
Source: AOL Autos, "Drowsy Driving Accident Highlights Danger Of Underreported Problem", Michael Zak, September 11, 2013