Driver Safely Escapes Their Vehicle When It Goes Into the River
A traffic accident involving a pickup occurred in Walnut Grove on July 10 when the driver fell asleep at the wheel along River and Twin Cities Road around 11:27 p.m. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) received a call that a pickup had gone off the roadway into the Sacramento River. The driver reported that they had fallen asleep behind the wheel but were able to kick out the back window and get out of their truck. The driver suffered minor injuries in the crash. Responders with the Contra Costa Fire Protection District reported that there was severe damage to the vehicle.
Accidents When the Driver Fell Asleep
Fatigued driving is a lesser recognized cause of traffic accidents. However, with more people working multiple jobs and irregular hours to make ends meet, this type of collision is becoming more common. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control reports that an average of one of every 25 motorists fell asleep while driving.
How Drowsy Driving Causes a Collision
A driver who falls asleep has the same risks as a motorist under the influence of alcohol:
- The drowsier the driver, the worse their reaction times, their awareness of hazards, and their ability to keep their attention on the task and surrounding traffic.
- Fatigue increases your chances of being involved in a car accident by three times.
- A blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent, which is the legal drunk driving limit in California, is equivalent to driving over 20 hours without sleep.
The Added Risk When a Driver Fell Asleep
There are many signs of fatigue that can go unnoticed by drivers because they are difficult to detect. Microsleep is also a phenomenon that occurs in some people when they drift off for a few seconds. Much like distracted driving, it removes the motorist’s focus for just long enough to cause a serious collision. Some ways to help can include:
- Scheduling more sleep: The Sleep Research Society points out that adults require seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Not doing so can mean the driver falls asleep behind the wheel.
- Auto technology: Drowsiness alerts and lane departure warnings are two safety technologies that can detect drowsy driving patterns and warn motorists to maintain their lane position or pull off to rest before the driver falls asleep.
- Checking your medications: Understanding the warning labels on your medications is an important area to look at because many can make you drowsy when you drive. Whether they will affect your ability to drive is something you should ask your doctor. When a driver falls asleep because this hasn’t been explained, a Sacramento injury attorney may be able to help you recover compensation.
- Considerations for students: Students in college are often sleep-deprived. However, there are educational programs in some schools to help them avoid drowsy driving, especially when the driver falls asleep behind the wheel.
Accident Lawyers in Sacramento
I am Ed Smith, an Accident Lawyer in Saramento. There are many ways a traffic collision injury can occur, and if a negligent driver or other entity was the cause, you may be able to recover compensation. Contact us at (916) 921-6400 for our free and friendly advice. We can also be reached at (800) 404-5400 or by sending us an online message.
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