Many Americans have adopted a lot of unhealthy habits. For example, many of us do not get nearly enough sleep, which means many of us are going through the day with a significant sleep deficit.
While lack of sleep has serious consequences for your health, it can also affect others. Working in a dangerous job or working with heavy machinery while you are fatigued could result in an accident that causes severe or fatal injuries to you or others.
Driving while fatigued is also dangerous and could cause a catastrophic or fatal accident. An estimate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there were 91,000 police-reported accidents that involved drowsy drivers.
A question victims of these crashes may have is this: How do I prove the at-fault driver was asleep or tired at the time of the crash? If a driver appears drunk, the police may be able to do a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test.
Below, our experienced Harrisburg-based auto accident lawyers discuss evidence of drowsy driving. If you were injured in a crash caused by a drowsy driver, we are ready to help you seek full compensation. Our attorneys take cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees or legal obligations.
Proof of Drowsy Driving
It is unlikely the at-fault driver will still be asleep after the collision. The impact and the noise that it causes will probably wake up the driver if he or she was asleep. That means it is unlikely you will be able to take a picture of the driver sleeping.
If you can take a picture of the sleeping driver it should serve as strong evidence that the other driver is at fault for the crash. If you see the other driver sleeping or yawning before the crash, make sure to tell the responding police officer. An eyewitness who can back up your story about the driver looking tired or being asleep would further bolster your claim.
The responding police officer will complete a report about the crash and if he has reason to believe fatigue played a role, it will likely be noted in his or her report. For example, the officer may notice the driver has bags under his or her eyes, frequently yawns or exhibits other symptoms of fatigue.
Lack of Skid Marks
Fortunately, there are a lot of other ways to try to establish a crash was caused by fatigue. For example, a lack of skid marks is often an indication or distracted or drowsy driving. Typically, drivers who are about to get into a crash will hit the brakes, creating skid marks on the road.
Your lawyer may recommend bringing in an accident reconstruction expert to study the scene of the crash and damage to the vehicles involved to determine the likely cause of the crash. This expert would likely review the lack of skid marks.
Dash Camera Footage
If you have a dashboard camera or the at-fault driver has one, the footage may help prove fault. For example, your camera may show the other driver asleep in the moments before the crash.
Medical Records of the At-Fault Driver
There are a variety of medications that can cause fatigue and drowsiness. Your attorney may be able to formally request proof of a prescription for a medication that can cause drowsiness. This combined with other evidence about the crash may help you establish it was caused by drowsiness.
It is possible the driver suffered from a medical condition like sleep apnea or narcolepsy that made them more likely to fall asleep while driving. Medical records may help you prove the at-fault driver had a relevant medical condition.
Video Footage from Nearby Cameras
There may be security or traffic cameras that captured the crash. Your attorney may be able to request this footage to help bolster your claim. It is possible this footage may show the driver looking fatigued or struggling to stay awake in the moments before the crash.
Proof of Employment in a Position That Requires Long Hours
If you were hit by a commercial truck driver, it may be possible to obtain black box data from the truck showing how long it was on the road. This may indicate the driver was on the road for an excessive amount of time. That means it would be more likely the driver would be fatigued.
Commercial drivers are required to keep logs of their hours behind the wheel, and your attorney may also be able to obtain these logs to help validate your drowsy driving claim.
There are other high-risk jobs for drowsy driving. For example, jobs that have people working at night may put fatigued drivers out on the road.
Give Us a Call for Assistance with Your Injury Claim
We have been helping car crash victims and victims of other types of accidents for decades and have a proven record of success. We have secured millions on behalf of our clients and are prepared to help you seek the compensation you need.
We offer a free initial consultation and do not charge any upfront fees for our services. We also do not charge fees while working your case if we validate your claim and you hire us.
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Call us today to discuss what happened with no risks. (717) 510-1782