Posted in Car Accidents on March 11, 2020
Sleep deprivation leads to fatigue, which in turn leads to slower reflexes and more accidents. While Louisiana doesn’t keep statistics on causes of accidents other than driving under the influence and weather for passenger vehicles, it does keep track of how many accidents caused deaths and injuries. In 2019, according to LSU, Louisiana had 655 fatal crashes and 44,116 crashes with injuries. Of the fatal wrecks, 462 drivers died, 121 occupants died, and 114 pedestrians died. Of the injury wrecks, 47,909 were drivers, 22,502 were occupants, and 1,395 were pedestrians. In Jefferson Parish alone, 32 people died, and 3,648 people suffered injuries in crashes. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an accident, contact the Law Office of John W. Redmann today.
Some people use ‘tired’ and ‘fatigued’ to describe the normal feeling of being tired after a long day. However, if you are tired, a good night’s sleep reinvigorates you. When you are fatigued, you don’t have any energy, and sleeping does not reinvigorate you. Fatigue could last a month or less, or it could last more than a month – sometimes longer than six months.
Stress and health issues are common causes of fatigue. Health issues might include diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, sleep apnea, anemia, and thyroid disease. Certain medications, including blood pressure medications, diuretics, and antihistamines could also cause you to feel fatigued.
You can help combat fatigue by taking certain actions. If you are stressed, seeing a mental health professional often helps. You could also:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving, including fatigued drivers, killed 795 people in 2017, and, in the same year, 91,000 wrecks were attributed to drowsy driving. The NHTSA recognizes that there are differences between being tired, fatigued, and being sleepy, but they are lumped together for statistics.
Fatigued driving wrecks happen more often during the late afternoon and between midnight and 6:00 a.m. Those are the times when most people’s circadian rhythm – the function that regulates sleep – dips. Signs of driver fatigue at an accident scene include:
If you wreck into the woods or a field, you are the only person who gets hurt if you are alone in your vehicle. However, if you head to the left, or if you are on a multi-lane highway, you could injure or kill others when you fall asleep at the wheel.
In addition to getting enough sleep before you drive:
Don’t let the short-time feeling of alertness from drinking caffeine lull you into thinking you are not tired. You could still have up to five seconds of loss of consciousness while driving. At 55 mph, you’ve traveled more than 100 yards and could easily cause a wreck. The better option is to drink coffee and pull over for 20 or 30 minutes to take a nap. However, keep in mind that this will only fuel your alertness for a short period of time.
If you were injured or you lost a loved one because a drowsy or fatigued driver caused an accident, you could recover damages. Louisiana allows victims of vehicle accidents to recover special and general damages.
Economic damages, frequently referred to as special damages, are those that have a price tag attached and include:
Non-economic damages, frequently referred to as general damages, include those that do not have a price tag and include:
In most cases, you must expect your injuries to be long-term or permanent to recover general damages.
If you suffer from injuries from a vehicle accident, or if you lost a loved one as a result of a vehicle accident, contact The Law Office of John W. Redmann at (504) 500-5000 to schedule a free consultation.