A 41-year-old Georgia woman riding shotgun in a 1982 Chevrolet pickup was critically injured in a single-vehicle crash in Levy County near Morriston, Florida early Saturday after the driver supposedly fell asleep at the wheel.
The driver, a 44-year-old Ocala man was seriously injured in the crash.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the pickup crossed southbound through traffic lanes, entered the grass shoulder, struck a concrete culvert and went airborne for approximately 64 feet before landing on its wheels.
The driver allegedly told troopers he dozed off before he lost control of the vehicle.
Neither party was wearing a seat belt, according to the crash report. They were both transported to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
FHP is further investigating the crash.
According to an AAA Foundation Study conducted in 2010, 41 percent of the population surveyed admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point when operating a motor vehicle. This study was based on the results of a nationwide telephone survey of 2,000 drivers and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s car accident facts over the past 10 years. Based on this information, the AAA Foundation found that a drowsy driver was the culprit of one out of every six fatal crashes and one out of eight collisions that result in serious injuries.
Driver fatigue can be caused by numerous factors other than not getting enough sleep at night, including:
• Prescription and over the counter medications with drowsiness as a side effect
• Consuming alcohol
• Sleep Disorders that are undiagnosed or untreated
• Driving Overnight
• Driving long distances without stopping for a rest
It is important to note that there are no measurable standards set in place to determine driver fatigue. The experienced Florida Car Accident & Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help gather evidence related to your accident to build a compelling case on your behalf. Depending on the facts related to your accident and injuries, you may be awarded compensation for medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering.
Drowsy driving is reckless driving and completely preventable. Sleep is a biological necessity for every human being and the ONLY cure for driver fatigue. The NHTSA estimates nearly 100,000 accidents each year are caused by fatigued drivers, resulting in approximately 1,550 fatalities, at least 40,000 injuries and an astounding $72.5 billion in financial losses. Drowsy driving accidents can have severe consequences for their victims, including disability and disfigurement, chronic pain, mental anguish, staggering medical bills and even wrongful death.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Car Accident & Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or reach us at our Alachua – Levy County office in Gainesville at 352-264-7800 or in Marion County – Ocala at 352-369-5334 or dial us statewide and toll-free 24/7 at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).