Oct 12

Car Accident on Skyway (and Many Others) Caused by Drowsy Drivers

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Car accidents can be caused by many reasons, including drivers falling asleep while driving. Just ask Darel Harris–a dump truck driver who was rear-ended this morning after another driver fell asleep at the wheel causing him to crash into the rear-end of the truck. As a result, northbound traffic slowed to a crawl on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The sleepy driver was charged with careless driving and taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

Automobile accidents caused by drowsy drivers are not uncommon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 37% of the driving population says they have nodded off for at least a moment or fallen asleep while driving at some time in their life. Male drivers are almost twice as likely to report having nodded off while driving than are female drivers. Newer drivers are only half as likely to have experienced nodding off while driving as more experienced drivers.

Although car accident caused by drowsy driving can happen anytime during the day, just 28% of drivers reporting a recent drowsy driving experience report this experience occurring between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. According to the NHTSA, more than one-third of drivers who nodded off while driving did so between 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. An additional 17% report they nodded off between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Does extended driving cause drivers to fall asleep more often? Not exactly, according to the report, nearly half of the drivers who fell asleep while driving were driving for an hour or less.

The National Sleep Foundation provides the following tips to avoid causing a car accident because of drowsiness.

  • Get a good night’s sleep before you hit the road. You’ll want to be alert for the drive, so be sure to get adequate sleep (seven to nine hours) the night before you go.
  • Don’t be too rushed to arrive at your destination. Many drivers try to maximize the holiday weekend by driving at night or without stopping for breaks. It’s better to allow the time to drive alert and arrive alive.
  • Use the buddy system. Just as you should not swim alone, avoid driving alone for long distances. A buddy who remains awake for the journey can take a turn behind the wheel and help identify the warning signs of fatigue.
  • Take a break every 100 miles or 2 hours. Do something to refresh yourself like getting a snack, switching drivers, or going for a run.
  • Take a nap—find a safe place to take a 15 to 20-minute nap, if you think you might fall asleep. Be cautious about excessive drowsiness after waking up.
  • Avoid alcohol and medications that cause drowsiness as a side-effect.
  • Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.
  • Consume caffeine. The equivalent of two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours.

Drive safely and watch out for those who don’t. For answers to legal questions after a Florida car accident, motorcycle accident or other personal injury matter, contact Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes for a free case consultation.


Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in Tampa Bay car accidents, motorcycle crashes and other types of injuries. His Clearwater personal injury law firm – Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes – has been caring for clients since 1955. As one of Tampa Bay’s oldest personal injury law firms, we can see you through the battle with insurance companies. Call Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes today at 727-724-7883 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

  1. This is definitely so true. I have heard of countless experiences people have had just driving when they are too tired. I have never driven anywhere when I was tired enough to fall asleep, or if I have, it was just a short trip. But, I haven’t made any long trips that I can think of. Thanks for this post. It was very insightful.

  2. Sean Valjean 22 May 2013 | reply

    It is sad how many people crash because they are drowsy. I wish people had better presence of mind to be able to pull over and do something a car accident lawyer in Fort Walton Beach FL was telling me that this would eliminate a lot of accidents. http://www.brannoncanhelp.com/

  3. thiagorulez 21 May 2013 | reply

    So true. I witnessed a car accident in Newfoundland a couple of mornings ago where I could actually see the drowsy driver nod off into his wheel. The other driver’s only warning was the guy’s forehead leaning on the horn. http://www.rogersbussey.com/automobile_accidents.html

  4. Coopcooker 24 Apr 2013 | reply

    Thanks for the post, and I was reading in http://www.lvaccident.com about the rate of car accidents that happen. And it makes you wonder when people are going to understand that this is a serious problem that we need to find a solution to.

  5. Bill Stewart 19 Apr 2013 | reply

    I’ve almost needed the services of dallas auto accident lawyers because of drowsy drivers several times. I feel like I am literally just putting my life out there and hoping nobody decides to crush it.

  6. Brad Hoss 29 Mar 2013 | reply

    Ouch. I hope the ones who needed it got a good (http://juanlaw.com/truck-accident-lawyer) truck accident attorney. My brother works in Dallas, which is too bad that he wasn’t up there to help those people.

  7. Dexter 25 Mar 2013 | reply

    Thanks for this great information. My brother was in an accident and he had to find a pedestrian accident lawyer in Las Vegas. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Drowsy drivers are almost as dangerous as drunk drivers. The new BMW and Range Rovers are coming out with a anti-fatigue measure where the steering wheel starts to vibrate should the driver start steering the car into the yellow lane.

  9. wrightrichard007 28 Feb 2013 | reply

    Thanks for this post. I think its sad how often we actually do need car accident attorneys. My cousin got hit bit someone who fell asleep at the wheel in Virginia. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

  10. Brad Hoss 21 Feb 2013 | reply

    I don’t think that you’d need an (http://www.brannoncanhelp.com/) automobile accident lawyer for falling asleep on the wheel, especially because its your own fault for driving that drowsily in the first place. -Fort Walton Beach

  11. We are all entitled to accidents if we don’t get careful enough.We should avoid night driving.

  12. Peter Lawson 19 Jan 2013 | reply

    In many highways and street roads we have witnessed car accidents increased day by day that results several deaths. Basically car accidents or fatal crashes are occurred due to lack of driving skills, speed factors and the most common reason fall asleep while driving that may increase the risk of car accidents.
    In the above article we found how drivers are suffered from sleeping problem while driving which cause fatal crashes.

  13. Emma Cay 18 Jan 2013 | reply

    Thanks for sharing. I couldn’t agree with you more. I think its time a talk to a Phoenix car accident attorney. My sister’s best friend was killed in a car accident. Her family needs some help with all the funeral costs.

  14. liamm1320 16 Jan 2013 | reply

    Ever since my friend had to get an auto accident lawyer for his case, I have come to really appreciate them. I think he told me to go to http://www.dunkleyinjurylaw.com/services if I need one. What would you suggest?

  15. Mini Cooper Service 24 Dec 2012 | reply

    Driving a car is a technique utilized in proper way will lead to a good drive through otherwise would result in serious damage to the vechile as well as it is too dangerous for the person driving in.Drivers in a drowsing state should not be driving.

  16. Artbrown304 9 Nov 2012 | reply

    Drowsy driving can be serious. I’ve had many instances where I needed to pull over and sleep for a bit because I was feeling very drowsy. In these situations it’s best to get in touch with a car accident attorney.

  17. dallastexas21 7 Nov 2012 | reply

    I wonder if there are as many accidents on motorcycles due to drowsiness as there are with cars. I should ask a motorcycle accident lawyer in Las Vegas if they have seen any (ex. http://www.lvaccident.com/html/mc.php3 ). Thanks for the reminder to be more alert while driving!

  18. Classic Car Storage 2 Nov 2012 | reply

    Car upholstery can be stained due to food and beverage spills, pets or children. Some of these stains may be easy to handle while some of the stains might prove difficult. One must always select a remover that is capable of cleaning the toughest stains with minimal effort. Mild stain removers would require a lot of scrubbing and brushing.

  19. tyre balancers 25 Oct 2012 | reply

    It could save drivers life to have some realization about the concept of sleep. We are all entitled to accidents if we don’t get careful enough.

  20. Robin Hood 16 Oct 2012 | reply

    Your blogs are totally worth gift quantify and liveliness.

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