If you are like most people in the Atlanta area, driving is part of your daily routine. Unfortunately, when you travel the same routes, day after day, it is easy to go on autopilot.

If you drive while fatigued, you are putting yourself and others on the road at risk – even if it is a route you drive every day. It is a good idea to look at drowsy driving the same way you would drunk driving. Both impair your ability to react quickly and make good decisions. Also, like drunk driving, if you are fatigued, you may cause or be involved in an accident that results in serious injuries.

If you are involved in a drowsy driving accident, contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines for help. We can review the accident, determine liability, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

What Is Considered Fatigued Driving in Atlanta?

Fatigued driving is not just a situation where you get behind the wheel after staying up all night. It can occur if you do not get a good night’s sleep or if you are sick. Being emotionally exhausted can lead to this too.

According to information from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the most likely time for drowsy driving accidents to occur is the late afternoon. This is due to the natural lull in your body’s rhythm.

The main takeaway from this is that any type of tiredness can impact your ability to drive safely.

Who Is at Risk of Fall Asleep Behind the Wheel?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that some people have a higher risk of driving fatigued than others. These individuals include the following:

  • Drivers taking medications that cause fatigue
  • Commercial truck drivers
  • Drivers experiencing sleep disorders
  • Drivers who are coming off a long shift
  • Drivers who regularly work the graveyard shift
  • Bus drivers

While the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has created hours-of-service guidelines to help prevent fatigued driving among commercial drivers, it still happens. It is important for those who are getting behind the wheel to assess how they feel. This is the only way to avoid driving while drowsy.

What Are the Warning Signs You Are Drowsy or Fatigued While Driving?

It is important for all drivers, regardless of what type of vehicle they drive, to know their limits when getting behind the wheel. To do this, it is imperative to know the signs of drowsy driving.

Some of the signs of fatigued driving include the following:

  • Only feeling “aware” when encountering roadway signals. If a motorist happens to drive over the rumble street on the side of the road and this causes them to become alert, it is time to pull over for some rest or a break.
  • Missing exits or forgetting time. Another sign of fatigued driving is if you miss your exit or cannot remember the last few minutes of your journey.
  • Drifting. Drifting out of your lane means that you are tired and need to stop driving.
  • Falling asleep. Sometimes, drivers undergo something called “microsleeps.” This occurs when you fall asleep for a few seconds at a time. Unfortunately, even just a few seconds can result in a devastating crash.

Some of the issues above may not seem like that big of a deal. However, if you are traveling at 55 miles per hour, even half a second, not knowing what is going on can cause an accident and injury to yourself or others.

Is Drowsy Driving Illegal in Atlanta?

Even though many experts compare driving fatigued to drunk driving, it is not enforced the same way.

One reason for this is that a car accident is a civil case. These are based on negligence rather than violating the law (which is the basis for a criminal charge). If you are the victim of an accident caused by a fatigued driver, you must file a civil lawsuit against them to recover compensation. Be sure to reach out to an Atlanta personal injury lawyer who can help with this.

Our Legal Team Can Help You File a Lawsuit Against a Fatigued Driver

Unfortunately, people drive fatigued every day. If you are in an accident with a fatigued driver, our legal team can help you file a claim and recover the compensation you are entitled to. The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation. We are here to help you with this often complicated legal process.

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