Drowsy driving is a serious issue with 4.2 percent of all drivers admitting in a CDC study that they had fallen asleep while driving in the prior 30 days. While the number of sleeping drivers in Oregon was revealed by the study to be well below the national average at only 2.5 percent, even a single sleeping driver can cause havoc on the roads.
A recent accident that sent one Oregon man to the hospital is proof enough of the serious consequences that a drowsy driver can cause. Our Oregon accident attorneys have seen many accidents involving drowsy drivers, and the April crash that occurred involving an SUV and a motorcycle was yet one more example of how drowsy driving can lead to tragic accidents, according to authortites.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving Accidents
According to Oregon Live, a 63-year-old motorcycle rider was traveling on Interstate 205 when he was hit by an SUV. The driver of the SUV was reportedly driving his Jeep at around 5:15 a.m. when he fell asleep behind the wheel.
The Jeep drifted towards the right before crashing into a guardrail. This caused the Jeep to then bounce leftward into the center lane and to strike the motorcycle rider. The driver of the Jeep was not injured but was cited for careless driving. The driver of the motorcycle was the unfortunate victim of this drowsy driving accident and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance in serious condition.
The driver of the SUV, if driving while drowsy, put innocent people at risk. Tragically, this driver’s decision to continue to drive while feeling tired ended up causing the motorcycle rider to pay the price.
Avoiding Drowsy Driving Accidents
A driver who doses off for even a second can cause a devastating accident, especially since the sleeping driver won’t be awake to slow down or swerve to try to lessen the force of the impact or avoid a head-on crash. This is why it is so important for every driver to do his part to prevent drowsy driving crashes.
- Do everything possible to be sure to get enough sleep. At least eight hours is recommended. Those with sleep apnea or other sleep disturbances who are unable to get enough sleep should seek help with their health issues.
- Avoid driving after consuming pills or medications that cause drowsiness. Some sleeping pills are still in the body in the morning after they are taken and can increase the chances of a drowsy driving crash.
- Pull off the side of the road when feeling tired. Drivers should never try to push through and keep driving when they are dozing off, as they put themselves and others at risk.
A driver who is too tired to be behind the wheel but who makes the choice to keep driving can be cited for carelessness as was the driver in this SUV crash. The driver can also be sued and made to pay for the costs of any losses or injuries that he causes others to suffer as a result of his decision to drive while drowsy.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in the Portland area, contact Zbinden & Curtis. Call (503) 287-5000.