USA Today - Drowsy driving causes more than 5,500 traffic deaths a year and is a factor in nearly 17% of all fatal crashes -- a much higher toll than previously estimated, according to a new analysis of federal data.
This is a frightening statistic about the causes of fatal car accidents, and brings about an interesting question: is driving while over-tired an actionable wrong? The short answer is yes, because just like most other car accident lawsuits, if you are seriously injured (as defined in the New York Insurance Law) in a car wreck that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The fact that the other driver may have been over-tired is a factor that would likely have contributed to the accident - for example: let's say the other driver was overtired, got behind the wheel, and because they were overtired, didn't hit the brakes in time and rear-ended your car, causing serious injuries. Here, the negligence is in the failure to operate the vehicle in a reasonably safe manner; the fact that the at-fault driver was overtired is simply a factor in the overall negligence.
Certain industries, particularly the long-haul trucking industry, are strictly regulated to make sure that drivers get mandated rest periods. Truckers are required to keep log books that document their rest so as to comply with the law. A common problem is that truckers, who are often paid by the mile (and thus inclined to drive as many miles as possible in a day), will often falsify their records to show that they got rest, although in truth they did not. Unfortunately, this type of falsification is unlikely to be discovered until after an accident occurs. If you have been injured in an accident with a tractor trailer, it is very important that you contact an attorney, as there may be additional liability against the truckers' employer.
In any scenario, if you have been injured in a car accident, and you suspect that the other driver was overtired or otherwise negligent, you should contact an attorney to advise you of your rights. If you have suffered a personal injury, the car accident lawyers at Dreyer Boyajian in Albany will work to protect your rights. Call us today at 518-463-7784.