Legal Liability for a Crash with a Drowsy or Fatigued Driver

driver fatigued on the roadMany people drive while fatigued all the time. It can happen after a long day at work or driving home late at night after a busy day. However, the effects of drowsy driving are often underestimated. An overly tired driver can be just as dangerous as someone who is texting or drinking behind the wheel.

If you have been injured in a crash due to a negligent driver, Greg Monforton & Partners is prepared to review your claim and discuss your potential legal options in a free consultation.

Below, our Windsor-based car accident lawyers discuss different factors that can lead to drowsy driving, individuals most likely to drive while fatigued and some best practices to avoid driving tired.

Find out if you have a case: (866) 320-4770

Drowsy Driving a Serious Road Safety Issue

Drowsy driving is a serious issue that accounts for a growing number of crashes resulting in injuries and fatalities. According to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), about 20 per cent of fatal crashes involve driver fatigue. 60 per cent of Canadian drivers surveyed have admitted to occasionally driving while fatigued.

Other startling drowsy driving admissions include:

  • 15 per cent of Canadian drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel
  • 72.3 per cent of Ontario drivers have operated their vehicles while fatigued
  • 4 per cent of drivers were involved in a crash after dozing off

Studies also show that crashes with a drowsy or fatigued driver are more likely during the late/early morning hours between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. or in the late afternoon between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Dangers of Driving While Fatigued

Being fatigued can significantly diminish your ability to drive safely in the following ways:

  • Slower reaction time
  • Less attentive and alert
  • Ability to make decisions
  • Impaired or blurry vision

Drivers who are feeling overly tired or struggling to stay awake behind the wheel are more likely to drift in and out of lanes, miss stop signs or traffic lights, maintain an inconsistent speed, or suddenly brake or stop close to other vehicles. This can potentially lead to serious accidents and injuries.

Those Most Likely to Drive Drowsy

Certain individuals are more likely than others to drive while tired and have a higher risk of being involved in a crash when exhausted or sleep-deprived. Examples include:

  • Commercial truck drivers who professionally drive for a living and spend long hours on the road
  • Shift workers who work odd hours, such as an overnight or graveyard shift, can impact tiredness
  • People on medications may experience sudden sleepiness or drowsiness while driving
  • People who do not get enough sleep or have poor sleep habits often have issues focusing
  • People with sleep disorders are often tired during the day

Liability in Cases Involving Drowsy Driving

All drivers are expected and legally required to do what is necessary to ensure the safety of others sharing the roadway. If you are seriously injured in an accident with a drowsy or fatigued driver, you may be eligible to take legal action against him or her. This will involve proving negligence.

The other driver must have failed to exercise reasonable care and in doing so caused you harm. For instance, a driver that decides to operate his or her vehicle after not sleeping or sleeping very little could be considered negligent for failing to get adequate rest. A driver who has trouble focusing or keeping his or her eyes open but fails to pull over and rest may also be deemed negligent.

Our lawyers are ready to work thoroughly to gather the supportive evidence needed to build a strong case for compensation. Reconstructing the crash, taking photos and videos of the scene, collecting medical records and gathering witness statements can all play an essential part in this process.

Exercising Reasonable Care to Avoid a Crash

Becoming tired while driving happens. However, it is important to only drive when you feel well-rested. If your eyes start to get tired or you have difficulty concentrating on the road, take frequent breaks.

Other practical safety tips to manage fatigue and avoid a crash include:

  • Share the driving responsibilities with others
  • Eat light meals and drink plenty of water
  • Pullover and take a nap to recharge
  • Keep the temperature cool in your vehicle

Get Experienced Legal Help Today

If you have been injured in a crash and need legal help, our lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners are here to help. We have successfully recovered $300 million for our clients in our 40 years of service.

An initial consultation with a member of our legal team is 100 per cent free without any obligations. There are no upfront fees if we take a case and no fees while we work on a case.

Call 24/7 for a Free Case Review: (866) 320-4770