Most people who have been driving for any appreciable amount of time understand that it’s not a good idea to get behind the wheel when you’re tired. Fatigued driving has long been one of the leading causes of car accidents across the United States, as we all obviously need to be properly focused when we are navigating through any type of traffic. Unfortunately, too many people make the mistake of assuming that they are alert enough to drive or they feel that a shot of caffeine will do the trick only to wind up causing a crash. Clearly, these people are acting in a negligent manner.
However, recent research has uncovered another potential issue that’s related to fatigued driving, and these drivers may not even realize that they are sleep-deprived because they feel this way all the time and simply assume that’s how life is. This research found that many people who cause car accidents because they were fatigued were actually suffering from sleep apnea, which is a condition whereby the flow of air is interrupted while someone sleeps. This interruption leads to breathing struggles, and people can wake up several times per night because of these episodes whether they remember them or not.
One doctor in Texas has been seeing patients for years who have suffered from sleep disorders, and he stated that many of his patients come to him for the first time after being involved in a car accident. The story of this situation aired on KYTX in Tyler, Texas, and the doctor who was at the heart of the story stated that simply providing some basic medical help to people with sleep apnea drastically improved their quality of sleep, their quality of life and of course their relative dependability when behind the wheels of vehicles. Some patients have needed medication while others have found enormous benefits from using a C-PAP machine that manages airflow while sleeping.
The most dangerous type of negligence that can be committed is that which someone does not realize is happening. When you couple that lack of realization with a moving vehicle, the situation can quickly become deadly. While we know that approximately 20 percent of all car accidents in the United States are caused by fatigued drivers, we do not yet know how many of those drivers are fatigued because they suffer from sleep apnea.
What we also know is that we have been serving clients as Las Vegas accident lawyers for many years, and we have seen the devastation that results when someone falls asleep or loses focus behind the wheel and causes a crash. People’s lives are completely ruined and in many cases families are suddenly forced to grieve the loss of a loved one. If you believe that you may have a sleep disorder, get medical attention soon. If you or someone you love has been injured by a negligent driver, contact Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.