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San Jose CA drowsy driving accident attorneyWhile it may not attract as much attention as drunk driving or distracted driving, drowsy driving is another serious issue that contributes to car accidents, many of which result in injuries and fatalities. The most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show more than 90,000 annual accidents in which driver fatigue was a factor, with nearly 800 resulting fatalities. Understanding some of the common factors in these accidents may help you avoid falling victim to one yourself.

Common Factors in Accidents Involving Driver Fatigue

Research shows that all of the following are possible factors in accidents involving drowsy drivers:

  • Time of day: Perhaps unsurprisingly, drowsy driving crashes are more likely to occur late at night. What may be more surprising is that they are also more common in the late afternoon, in part due to the human body’s natural sleep rhythms.

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San Jose rollover accident attorney, rollover accidentsEstimates show that 10,000 lives are lost on an annual basis due to rollover vehicle accidents. This type of vehicle accident is so dangerous that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports how those involved in a rollover accident have a 33 percent chance of not surviving.

Although a rollover can occur in any model of vehicle, these accidents are regularly linked to sports utility vehicles or SUVs, pickup trucks, or the modern day mini van—all vehicles which are considered “top heavy” because they have a higher center of gravity.

A rollover accident can occur when sideway forces, such as navigating a curve, shift the center of gravity to one side and therefore affect the vehicle’s ability to balance evenly. This reaction is extremely dangerous if a driver is speeding or driving while under the influence. The result can be the loss of control of one's vehicle.

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San Jose personal injury attorney, drowsy drivingAs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continually surveys the quantity and quality of our sleep habits and the devastating events associated with the lack thereof, sleep is now recognized as a public health issue. 

Moreover, the exploration of behaviors and disorders are also being closely monitored as our sleeping habits are now linked to motor vehicle accidents, personal injuries, industrial disasters, and even medical and other occupational errors. 

Another leading authority, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reports that driving while drowsy can be dangerously compared to driving while under the influence of alcohol, but without the benefit of a breathalyzer.

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San Jose, CA personal injury attorney, cell phone usageThe use of cell phones has increased greatly over the years. From bathrooms to highways, cell phones are everywhere. Moreover, distracted driving while using a phone for any reason is blamed for the deaths of nearly 3,200 Americans in 2014.

These massive numbers motivated legal officials to take a stand to protect our citizens. As of January 1, 2017, California lawmakers have made it illegal to hold a cellular device while driving a motor vehicle

Law Restrictions

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San Jose truck accidents, San Jose, CA truck accident attorneyMassive 18-wheeled big rigs dominate our nation's roadways. These overpowering vehicles drive our nation’s economy while also overpowering all other vehicles on the main highways and city streets. The sheer size and momentum brought forth by these vehicles makes them an intimidating force when traveling next to a non-commercial vehicle. Additionally, in certain cases, truck drivers leave a devastating wake behind them full of destruction and heartache for those unfortunate enough to cross their paths. Even with a recent decline in fatalities due to truck accidents, far too many families suffer at the hands of drivers who negligently operate their machinery.

Statistics

Due to ongoing investigations from two previous years, the most up-to-date and conclusive information available is 2014. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) only began in 1975, making most of the information available relatively new, but still useful in witnessing trends. Some of the most alarming statistics from recent years include the following:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_tired-truckers-truck-driver-fatigue-San-Jose.jpgLack of adequate sleep is believed to be a predominate factor in many of the problems that ail our society today, not the least of which are the associated medical concerns. Studies show that only 65 percent of Americans regularly get the recommended seven hours of sleep at night. Hence, a significant portion of the population suffers from the effects during their daily routines.

Most individuals feel that a lack of sleep is a personal concern and should not be regulated. Yet what happens when fatigue leads to an accident that takes someone else’s life? As truckers spend a significant portion of their time on the roadways, it is imperative that these drivers get adequate sleep to ensure the safety of those around them.

It is Not Just Good Sense, it is the Law

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