When most people think of car accident cases, they think of drunk driving or distracted driving, bad road conditions, or people just not paying attention. But fatigue and drowsy driving accounts for nearly 850 deaths every year in the United States according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A recent Harvard study indicates that commercial drivers and truckers are at a particularly high risk of driver fatigue, involved in about 20% of drowsy driver accidents on the roadway.
What's more, drowsy drivers rarely recognize or admit to the feelings of drowsiness even after they have caused a serious car accident.
Drowsy driving poses a serious risk to drivers because it is mistakenly believed that drowsiness or fatigue simply means someone is sleepy. Most drivers believe that they are not drowsy or fatigued until they start to doze off the wheel, and otherwise feel incredibly tired. But the early signs of drowsy driving show up much sooner and they result in:
Slowed reaction times
Bad decision making
Problems remembering directions
Missing exits that are otherwise taken regularly
More importantly, most people associate drowsy driving with nighttime, but this is an issue that happens all day, particularly in the mid-afternoon, at the end of a workday, or even in the morning.
Thankfully, there is new technology out there that is helping to revolutionize the way drivers track drowsiness that is helping to save lives every day. It not only helps to wake up drowsy drivers but also provides evidence for people who are hit by drowsy drivers. People hit by drowsy drivers may be able to use a detection system log to see if drowsiness resulted in the accident.
Drowsy driver detection systems all utilize the same basic type of technology. They are designed to monitor when a driver is starting to exhibit symptoms of drowsiness and they then alert the driver immediately in order to wake them up. The idea behind this is that early indications can help inform drivers of when they need to take a break so that fewer accidents take place on the roads.
Systems that are built into vehicles are much more effective, as they monitor long-term behavior on the road as well as certain facial expressions of the driver, which can help indicate when a driver is fatigued. Some systems even take into account the amount of time spent on the road and the time of day. Battery operated versions monitor things like head movements indicative of dozing off.
Drowsy driver detection systems are largely made using machine learning systems that use information from video cameras on your dashboard or vehicle display system in order to measure if you are fatigued. They use this information to send alerts as needed in order to wake up drowsy drivers.
There are a handful of different technologies available today. Most of them are based upon an algorithm that starts off recording the driver's behavior such as movements like steering and facial expressions as soon as the trip starts.
It then accumulates a database of logs in order to recognize changes from otherwise normal driving behavior, indicating fatigue. Typical signs of fatigue include phases where the driver only lightly controls steering, uses abrupt and quick movements in order to maintain a regular trajectory, and begins to close their eyes for long periods of time or their eyes begin getting lower over time.
Reviewing the frequency of these movements, combined with the use of things like turn signals, the length of the drive, and the time of day, this technology calculates the level of fatigue a driver is facing. Once the information indicates a higher than normal level of fatigue, an alert will sound to wake up the driver and warn them of their fatigue level.
Newer models of cars are being manufactured with this tech built-in. However, there are also products that you can purchase which you can install in your car that work just the same.
Volvo, Mercedes, and Audi currently offer these detection systems as an option in different vehicle models. These systems do things like monitor driving behaviors and may very shortly track drivers facial gestures as well, something that is currently being researched and developed.
If you have been in a drowsy driver accident in Colorado, it is very important that you follow these steps in order to get the most out of your case:
Exchange information with all parties involved including insurance information. This should include contact information as well as insurance details, license plate numbers, etc.
Take pictures of any damage sustained to your vehicle, the other vehicles involved, nearby property, and any injuries that you sustained on the spot. Having pictures of your injuries at the time of the crash will help when you seek follow-up medical care and having immediate pictures especially with time and date information will go a long way towards substantiating your claim and proving that the damages were sustained at the time of the accident.
Call the police and have them generate an official police report stipulating what took place. Having a police report will be very helpful for your case going forward.
Contact your insurance company to inform them of the accident and handle any steps they require thereafter.
Have your injuries looked at by a medical professional so that you have documented evidence for any injuries you may have sustained as a result of the accident and follow up with any treatment prescribed by the doctor. If you don't seek medical care immediately after the car accident and your injuries worsen, it can work against you in a drowsy driver case down the line because some injuries could have been effectively treated had you sought care immediately rather than allow them to worsen.
Contact a qualified drowsy driver accident attorney who can help with the legal process, answer your questions, and help you maximize your compensation.
While these new technologies are beginning to make an impact on the drowsy driving statistics nationwide, there is still a lot of progress to be made. Drowsy driving accidents still affect many Americans every year and are very prevalent in Colorado.
Colorado ranks third in the United States with the highest percentage of drowsy driving accidents and fatalities in the country. Interstate 25 across Colorado is the fourth most dangerous highway for sleep deprivation and drowsy driving accidents.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a drowsy driver in Colorado, it is very important that you work with a Drowsy Driver Accident Attorney in Colorado who can help you get the compensation you deserve for your accident.
Our attorneys have over 40+ years of experience helping people navigate the legal landscape and get what they deserve for their car accident injuries. Don’t try to struggle through your case alone. Work with a professional and get the representation that you need to win your case.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation, and work with one of our experienced car crash attorneys who can answer your questions, help you take the next steps, and fight for you every step of the way.
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