Drowsy driving has been a long-standing problem posing dangers to those who drive on our nation’s roadways. Falling asleep behind the wheel can have grave consequences, such as injuring yourself, property, or others, as well as causing the death of you or another individual.
Drowsy driving has recently been compared to the dangers of drunk driving. According to a new American Automobile Association (AAA) study released in February 2018, drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel are causing more motor vehicle accidents and are considered to be more dangerous than drunk drivers. Also, according to the same study, drowsy driving accidents are severely under-reported by federal agencies.
The study states that approximately ten percent of crashes are attributed to drowsy driving. This percentage is much higher than the original one or two percent of accidents that federal agencies had attributed to drowsy drivers in the past.
In the State of New Jersey, there is a state law that took effect in 2003 to combat sleepy drivers. The law, designated as Maggie’s Law, came about from a 1997 crash where a 20-year-old college student, Maggie McDonnell was killed when a driver, who admitted to being sleep deprived for 30 hours and admitted to using drugs, crossed three lanes of traffic and hit McDonnell’s car head-on. Maggie’s Law allows a sleep-deprived driver to be considered a reckless driver who can then be convicted of vehicular homicide if said driver kills another while sleep-deprived.
As the number of drowsy driving accidents increases, it is important to know that the only thing to correct sleep-deprivation is sleep itself. Caffeinated beverages, caffeine pills, or rolling the windows down while driving, among others, have proved ineffective. Getting a full night’s sleep is extremely important, not only for your health but for the safety and well-being of others.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drowsy driver, contact an experienced New Jersey auto accident lawyer that may assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group LLC are skilled New Jersey motor vehicle accident lawyers, who will fight for the compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation with our New Jersey motor vehicle accident lawyers, call (908) 352-2500 or fill out our contact form.