The Deleterious Effects of Fatigue on Driving Ability
Fatigue, a common and often underestimated factor, can significantly impact driving performance with the fast-paced lives that many individuals lead today, getting behind the wheel while exhausted has become an all too familiar occurrence. This critical issue deserves attention as fatigue-related accidents continue rising in Oregon and the United States. In this article, we will explore the effects of fatigue on driving ability and discuss what you can do if you fall victim to a car accident injury caused by a drowsy driver.
The Pernicious Consequences of Fatigued Driving
When drivers are tired, they may experience slower reaction times, difficulty concentrating, impaired judgment, and even microsleep episodes—brief periods of sleep that last only a few seconds but have potentially disastrous consequences. These factors combine to increase the risk of personal injury accidents involving automobiles or even more vulnerable road users such as bicycle riders, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving was responsible for 91, 000 crashes in 2017 alone. These incidents resulted in approximately 50, 000 injuries and nearly 800 fatalities—a grim reminder of how fatigue can lead to devastating accidents with life-altering consequences or even wrongful death.
Oregon Laws Addressing Fatigued Driving
Recognizing the dangers posed by fatigued drivers, Oregon has implemented laws to combat this dangerous behavior. Under ORS § 811.140(1)(a), a person commits the offense of "reckless driving" if they operate a vehicle "upon a highway or upon premises open to the public in a manner that endangers the safety of persons or property." While this statute does not explicitly mention fatigued driving, courts have interpreted it to encompass situations where drivers operate their vehicles while impaired due to sleepiness.
Commercial truck drivers must also adhere to strict hours-of-service regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules limit truck operators' time on duty and require specific rest periods. Violations of these regulations can result in severe penalties for drivers and employers and increased liability in commercial truck accident injury cases.
Seeking Justice for Victims of Fatigued Driving Accidents
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a fatigued driver, seeking representation from an experienced Oregon personal injury attorney is crucial. At Pacific Injury Law Firm, we understand victims' unique challenges when pursuing compensation for their injuries and will work tirelessly to hold negligent parties accountable.
Our team will thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence demonstrating how fatigue contributed to the accident, and collaborate with medical experts to establish causation between your injuries and the collision. We are committed to seeking maximum compensation on your behalf—whether through negotiation with insurance companies or advocating in court.
In addition to car accidents involving passenger vehicles, our firm also handles cases involving more specialized road users like motorcycle accident injury, bicycle accident injury, and pedestrian accident injury. We are also skilled in representing clients who have suffered injuries on someone else's property due to inadequate maintenance or dangerous conditions, resulting in premises liability claims.
The dangers of fatigued driving cannot be overstated. All drivers must recognize the risks associated with operating a vehicle while tired and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured due to another driver's fatigue-induced negligence, don't hesitate to contact Pacific Injury Law Firm for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys are committed to helping you secure the compensation you deserve while navigating the complexities of Oregon's personal injury laws.