Did you know that around 30% of drivers in the U.S. have admitted to falling asleep while behind the wheel? Over 50% of people asked have admitted to getting behind the wheel while drowsy, which is extremely risky for themselves and others on the road.
Unfortunately, you may find yourself included in the statistic above. For example, have you suddenly jerked awake as your car starts vibrating as it moves toward the shoulder and runs over the rumble strips on the side of the road? If so, you may think it’s no big deal – you were fine, right? For many situations of drowsy driving, the outcome isn’t a positive one.
Now is the time to learn more about drowsy driving and its dangers to everyone on the road. Also, if you are involved in an accident with a drowsy driver, seeking the services of a personal injury lawyer near me is one of the smartest things you can do. The team at Fetterman & Associates is available to discuss your situation and help you figure out your rights to compensation.
Is It Illegal to Drive While Drowsy?
It is illegal to drive while drowsy all over the country, in all 50 states. If you are found driving while drowsy, you can be charged with reckless driving or careless driving in Florida. Along with receiving a traffic ticket, and in some cases facing criminal charges, you may face civil liability in situations where driving results in an accident. Suppose your drowsy driving resulted in someone else’s serious injury or even a fatality. In that case, you could be charged with a felony, which means there is the possibility you will have to spend time in prison or jail.
Is It Possible to Be Charged if You Drive While Tired?
It is not possible for you to be charged with anything if you drive while you are tired. While this is true, if your fatigued driving results in any errors while you are on the road, then you can face charges related to those errors.
One example would be if driving tired results in you weaving and crossing the centerline; you could face charges related to not maintaining your proper lane. You may also face reckless or careless driving charges. If an accident occurs, then you may face civil liability because of your negligent driving actions.
Laws Related to Driving Drowsy in Florida
It’s important to note that the state of Florida does not have any specific laws that prohibit drowsy driving. However, several traffic laws may be applicable to fatigued or tired drivers.
One example will be if a driver does not see and yield to a right of way due to being tired. If this happens, they could receive a ticket because of their failure to yield.
Cases of drowsy driving make it more likely that Florida drivers will violate the uniform traffic control laws in the state. The traffic offenses that may be charged with range from less serious civil fines to much more serious criminal charges.
Tips for Preventing Cases of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is dangerous. There’s no way around it. Because of this, it is up to you to make sure that you avoid getting behind the wheel while tired and remain aware so that you can avoid being involved in a drowsy driving accident.
Some tips that will help you avoid being part of the problem of drowsy driving include:
- Get plenty of sleep before getting behind the wheel
- Never take medications that may make you drowsy
- Break every two hours or 100 miles on long trips
- Use the buddy system when driving and take turns
- Drink caffeine to help increase how alert you are
- Avoid driving during times you would normally be sleeping
- Utilize the rest areas and welcome centers located throughout the state of Florida
- Avoid driving if you have been awake for over 24 hours
What Rights Do You Have if You Are in an Accident with a Drowsy Driver?
If you are involved in a drowsy driving accident in West Palm Beach and have suffered damages or an injury, then you have rights. One of these rights is to recover compensation from the responsible part. Someone else’s negligence causes cases of drowsy driving. If negligence can be proven, you may have grounds to file a personal injury action and receive compensation. However, this can be a complicated process, so it is good to work with a personal injury lawyer near me to know your rights and options.
Have you been injured because of a drowsy driver? Do you have questions or are unsure what to do next? If so, contact our professional legal team at Fetterman & Associates by calling 561-983-4771.