Schlachman, Belsky & Weiner, P.A.

Baltimore Law Blog

With the amount of daylight now decreasing each day heading into winter, many Baltimore residents may feel as though they are more tired at an earlier time of day. Even if the increased darkness does not make individuals more tired, the person's busy schedule, both at home and at work, can contribute to his or her fatigue. Whatever the cause may be, a person's fatigue can have serious effects on others if the person is driving on the road and gets into an accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board recently held an event highlighting the dangers of drowsy driving. According to the NTSB, a person's driving may be impaired even if the person had just two hours less of sleep.

AAA estimates that about 400,000 accidents each year are caused by drowsy drivers, with a large number of those resulting in injury or death. While the precise numbers can be difficult to determine, experts agree drowsy driving is dangerous, and they liken to it to drunk driving, given the impact it has on a person's reaction time and attention to the road.

Truck driver fatigue, in particular, can be problematic, because of the long hours truck drivers are often on the road. Yet, the working hours are not an excuse when a car or truck accident occurs, as those injured in the accident may have a cause of action for negligence to bring against the drowsy driver. Given the dangers of drowsy driving, individuals should know that they are violating their duty of care by driving while tired, and they are placing others at risk. Accordingly, if individuals proceed to drive under those circumstances and injure others on the road, the injured persons can receive compensation from the negligent driver.

Source: CBS Baltimore, "Awake. Alert. Alive. NTSP looks at the dangers of drowsy driving," Marcus Washington, Oct. 21, 2014

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