If you were injured by a negligent driver in Augusta, Georgia, then you should be entitled to financial compensation. However, the auto insurance companies will work hard to force you into a lowball settlement, so it may be best to see a lawyer before filing a claim.

For such a claim to be effective, though, there needs to be solid proof of the defendant’s negligence. Proving negligence can be hard in some cases, especially cases where drowsy driving is involved. There are around 100,000 police-reported drowsy driving crashes each year, but the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates the number to be more around 328,000. Drowsiness often goes undetected.

What drowsiness does to a driver

Adults are meant to sleep at least seven hours a night, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Without this, they can become impaired in their ability to concentrate and make proper judgments. This can be fatal in a driver, especially when there are hazards up ahead on the road. Drowsiness is known to also slow down reaction times.

Severe drowsiness is connected with a condition called microsleep. Microsleep episodes last four or five seconds; during that time, a driver going at highway speed could cover the length of a football field with perfect inattention. It’s no exaggeration, then, when the National Sleep Foundation says that fatigue triples the risk for an auto accident.

Solutions and interventions

Adequate sleep is, of course, the only real solution to drowsiness. Those who sleep long enough but still experience drowsiness may have a sleep disorder and, consequently, may want to consult their doctor. Better education about drowsiness can help deter some from unsafe behavior. For others, a crash may be averted through vehicle devices like lane departure warning and drowsiness alert.

An attorney to be on your side

With a lawyer who deals in the aftermath of motor vehicle collisions, you may at least have someone who could negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement covering medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses.