If you are a commuter, you may know how difficult it can be to wake up in the mornings and head to work. If you have ever been on a long overnight road trip, you may also know how difficult it can be to stay awake behind the wheel at certain times of day. You also know that every driver is responsible for the choices he or she makes behind the wheel.

When you think about poor choices people often make while driving, you may think about things like texting, eating, putting on makeup or even streaming videos. It’s easy to see how these types of behaviors are dangerous and can increase the chance of an accident, but so can fatigued driving. Despite the danger of driving while tired, people underestimate how serious it can be.

A little sleepy or too tired to drive?

Most people do not really consider fatigued driving as a dangerous behavior, probably because they have also experienced a time when they have been tired while driving. However, when it comes to a person’s ability to safely operate a moving vehicle, there is a big difference between being a little sleepy and too tired to drive safely. Consider the following facts about fatigued driving from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 

  • Drivers may be dangerously fatigued if they do not get enough sleep, but it could also be because of certain types of medication, sleep disorders and odd work schedules.
  • Sleepiness makes it more difficult for a driver to pay attention to the road, react in enough time to avoid hazards and make smart decisions.
  • Estimates suggest that as many as 6,000 auto accident fatalities each year are the result of fatigued driving. 

The CDC recognizes fatigued driving as a public safety concern, and it could be the cause of your car accident. If you think this may be the case, you may have a valid claim to restitution.

Options for legal recourse 

By pursuing specific options available to you through the Louisiana civil justice system, you may be able to claim appropriate compensation for injuries, lost wages, medical bills and other damages. A personal injury claim is a reasonable course of action for a person who suffered because of the reckless or negligent actions of another person. This includes choosing to drive when dangerously fatigued or having difficulty staying awake.