Dangers of Drowsy Driving and Legal Implications

drowsy driving can cause severe accidents

Drowsy driving is a serious issue that often goes unnoticed but has significant implications, both in terms of safety and legality. Drowsy drivers do not only pose a risk to other drivers on the road but also risk their own lives.

This blog aims to shed light on the dangers associated with drowsy driving and how a Lilburn car accident attorney can help if you were injured in a crash caused by a drowsy driver.

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is a dangerous behavior that can lead to devastating accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving caused 684 deaths in 2021 alone. The actual number may be much higher due to underreporting and the difficulty in detecting drowsiness as a crash factor.

Drowsy driving impairs reaction time, reduces vigilance, and affects decision-making capacity, much like alcohol does. It can lead to microsleeps, brief episodes of inattention lasting from a fraction of a second up to 30 seconds. During this time, a vehicle moving at high speed can travel a significant distance without the driver’s control or awareness.

Legal Implications of Drowsy Driving in Georgia

In Georgia, like in many other states, there isn’t a specific law that addresses drowsy driving. However, drivers can still face legal consequences under various traffic and criminal laws.

For instance, if a driver causes an accident due to drowsy driving, they can be charged with reckless driving under Georgia Code § 40-6-390. This law states that any person who drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property commits the offense of reckless driving, a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine up to $1,000.

Moreover, if a drowsy driver causes a fatal accident, they could be charged with vehicular homicide. Under Georgia Code § 40-6-393, any person who causes the death of another person, without an intention to do so, by violating any provision of the motor vehicle laws commits the offense of homicide by vehicle, a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years.

Civil Liability

Apart from criminal charges, a drowsy driver can also face civil liability if their negligence leads to an accident. The victim or their family can file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. In such cases, evidence of drowsiness, such as lack of sleep, long work hours, or a sleep disorder, can be used to establish the driver’s negligence.

driving when you are tired is extremely dangerous

How an Attorney Can Help with a Drowsy Driving Accident Case

If you or a loved one has been involved in a drowsy driving accident, it is crucial to seek legal representation. An experienced Lilburn car accident attorney can provide invaluable assistance in several ways:

Investigation

An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to gather evidence of drowsiness or fatigue. This could include obtaining police reports, medical records, and witness statements, as well as hiring experts to reconstruct the accident scene or analyze the driver’s sleep patterns.

Legal Advice

An attorney can explain the laws related to drowsy driving in Georgia and how they apply to your case. They can advise you on your rights, the potential legal consequences for the drowsy driver, and the options available to you.

Representation in Court

If your case goes to trial, an attorney can represent you in court. They can present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make persuasive arguments to the judge or jury on your behalf.

Negotiation with Insurance Companies

An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company of the at-fault driver to seek a fair settlement. They can use the evidence of drowsiness to strengthen your claim and counter any attempts by the insurance company to downplay their client’s liability.

Claim for Damages

An attorney can help you file a claim for damages, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the accident. They can calculate the full extent of your damages to ensure you seek adequate compensation.

Contact a Lilburn Car Accident Attorney for Guidance

Drowsy driving is a serious issue with significant safety and legal implications. While there are no specific drowsy driving laws in Georgia, drivers can still face criminal charges and civil liability if their drowsy driving leads to an accident.

Therefore, if you have been involved in an accident with a drowsy driver contact The Weinstein Law Firm at 770-HELP-NOW for legal advice. We will ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

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