Five members of a Florida family died in a recent car accident that authorities suspect was the result of fatigued driving.
According to news reports, the 37-year-old father of three was driving with his wife and three children when the vehicle swerved off Interstate 75 near Gainesville. The vehicle struck a semi-truck that had stopped on the side of the highway. All five people in the vehicle died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Fatigued driving risks rival drunk driving
This recent fatal accident may serve as another example of just how dangerous it can be to operate a motor vehicle while fatigued. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “drowsy driving” can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, slowing one’s reaction time, impairing judgment and decreasing overall awareness. These factors lead to an increased risk of a crash occurring.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are more than 72,000 car accidents involving fatigued driving each year across the country, with those crashes causing more than 800 fatalities. The agency admits that even those estimates may be conservative, with some experts finding more than 6,000 fatal crashes tied to fatigued driving annually.
In addition, several studies have shown that people who are overly tired have trouble processing information, are less vigilant and may even be prone to aggressive behaviors.
Because of the risks of fatigued driving, it is important for everyone to refrain from using Florida’s roads and highways when they are too tired to safely operate a motor vehicle. Driving while fatigued is a dangerous activity and could be considered negligence if an accident causing injury or death occurs as a result.
If you’ve been involved in a Florida car accident and you believe drowsy driving or another form of negligence was to blame, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party. To learn more, consult a skilled Bradenton personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babbonni & Walsh.