According to a 2013 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report, one in twenty-four drivers in the US stated that they recently fell asleep while they were driving—an alarming statistic. Even more alarming is that according to the same study, health officials believe that the one in twenty-four figure could be higher because many drivers aren’t even aware that they occasionally nod off for a couple of seconds while driving. Most common among young adults, who tend to get insufficient sleep on a regular basis, driving while drowsy is estimated to cause as many as 33% of the fatal car accidents that occur annually. With statistics as high as these, car injury attorneys often have to question whether or not the car accident cases they handle for clients could have been the result of a drowsy driver.
Astoria Women Dies After Falling Asleep at the Wheel
In fact, we saw the results of a sleepy driver earlier this week when a 26-year-old mother of two veered off Highway 401 near Astoria and crashed into an alder tree. This accident resulted in the death of the woman, and left her two small children, ages 2 and 4, to survive a frigid several hours until the wreck was discovered by a couple of fisherman. According to the Star Telegraph, after dragging her little sister to safety, the heroic 4-year-old was able to keep herself and her sister warm until help arrived. Both girls were taken to an Astoria hospital, where the four-year-old was released and the two-year-old was airlifted to a Portland hospital. No reports of the extent of injuries sustained by the younger sibling have as yet been released.
As Oregon car injury attorneys, we see the tragic consequences of careless drivers daily, and our sympathy goes out to this family.
Resulting in slow reaction time and less-than-attentive and inhibited decision-making abilities, sleep deprivation affects drivers more-often during the night and midafternoon—the tragic one-car Astoria accident is thought to have occurred around midnight. While the CDC reported that most accidents caused by sleep deprivation involve a single vehicle, it also noted that “head-on collisions and rear-end collisions were disproportionately caused by tired drivers” and were “more likely to cause injuries and fatalities than incidents not involving sleepy drivers.”
Accidents caused by Drowsy Drivers Can Result in High Economic and Personal Cost
A drowsy driver accident can result in high economic and personal cost to both those injured in the accident as well as the at-fault driver. Settlements are not uncommon for crash victims as well as their families as a result of personal injury lawsuits filed against individuals and companies whose employees are involved in a drowsy driver accident. In the case of a death, criminal charges may even be filed against the at-fault driver depending upon the circumstances of the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in Oregon in a drowsy driver accident and need legal assistance, our Oregon car accident lawyers will see that you receive all the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today for a free consultation concerning your injury claim.