Mike Bottaro car accident attorney

Rhode Island Drowsy Driving Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a Rhode Island car accident caused by a drowsy driver, you might be entitled to money for your medical bills and other crash-related losses. A top drowsy driving accident lawyer in Rhode Island from Bottaro Law can help you by preparing a strong injury case against the other driver and demanding the maximum compensation you deserve.

Don’t rely on insurers for the at-fault driver to pay up without a fight. They don’t have your best interests at heart. They only care about saving money to increase their profits. 

Mike and his experienced team at Bottaro Law are ready to stand up for your rights and get you maximum compensation for your crash injuries. When you choose us to handle your case, you can rest assured that it is in capable hands. Because of our exclusive No Fee Guarantee, you won’t pay us anything unless we recover money for you first.

Contact us now to learn more about your options in a free initial case evaluation. 

What Is Drowsy Driving?

Drowsy driving is operating a motor vehicle while too tired to do so safely. Drowsy driving is one of the top causes of car accidents in Rhode Island and across the country, contributing to thousands of collisions yearly. 

Common reasons people become dangerously fatigued behind the wheel include:

  • Staying awake for too many hours in a row
  • Not getting enough sleep for several consecutive days
  • Being awake during the body’s usual sleep times
  • Traveling for long periods in isolation or boredom
  • Having certain disorders like sleep apnea or narcolepsy
  • Consuming alcohol or other sleep-inducing drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medications

What Are the Signs of Drowsy Driving?

Unlike alcohol consumption, there’s no foolproof method for testing a motorist’s level of drowsiness to determine whether they’re too tired to drive. However, some of the signs that someone might be too drowsy to get behind the wheel include:

  • Taking “long blinks” or nodding off – When we’re drowsy, many of us have trouble keeping our eyes open, which can lead to dangerous “long blinks” on the road. In severe cases, a drowsy driver might even nod off behind the wheel.
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations – A hypnagogic hallucination is a mild hallucination that appears as you fall asleep. These hallucinations are common and usually nothing to worry about, but they can be incredibly dangerous when they happen to someone piloting several thousand pounds of vehicle at any sort of speed.
  • Frequent yawning or eye-rubbing – Frequent yawns and heavy or itchy eyes are hallmarks of tiredness. If you notice yourself yawning nonstop or rubbing dry eyes while driving, it’s a sign that you should pull over and rest.
  • Missing exits or turns – Drowsiness impairs focus, reaction time, and short-term memory, so many drowsy drivers accidentally miss exits or turns while struggling to stay awake at the wheel. 
  • Drifting into neighboring lanes – Focusing on the road and staying in one’s designated lane is difficult when fighting fatigue.
  • Losses in concentration – Drowsy drivers tend to have trouble concentrating, leading to erratic speeds and maneuvers. You shouldn’t drive if you find yourself struggling to maintain a constant speed or drive straight.
  • Feelings of restlessness – Many drowsy drivers try to counteract fatigue with caffeine and other stimulants, which can lead to uncomfortable, jittery feelings that increase the risk of distraction and aggression.
  • Slow responses to road hazards – Drivers must constantly be on the lookout for road hazards like potholes and patches of ice. If you notice you’re having trouble responding to hazardous conditions promptly, you shouldn’t be driving. 

How Driving While Drowsy Causes Rhode Island Car Accidents

Many drivers who are excessively fatigued cause accidents in Rhode Island when they:

  • Fail to register traffic control signs, road hazards, or changes in traffic flow
  • Miss exits or turns and swerve to correct course or double back
  • Fail to react in time to avoid accidents when other vehicles slow or stop
  • Nod off at the wheel and drift into neighboring lanes or oncoming traffic
  • Make poor judgments when signaling intent or timing maneuvers
  • Fail to properly judge the speed or relative distance of other road users

Sleepy man rubs his eyesCompensation for Victims of Fatigued Driver Crashes

When you file a car accident claim in Rhode Island, you are effectively asking for the money you need to be made “whole” again after the crash – that is, to undo or offset the consequences of the collision. If you’re successful, you could receive money as compensation for the following types of losses:

  • Past and future medical costs you incur due to the accident
  • Lost wages from missed time at work during your recovery
  • Projected losses in your earning potential due to permanent injuries
  • Pain, suffering, and lost quality of life
  • Incidental expenses, such as the costs of medical travel

How to Prevent Drowsy Driving

You can reduce the risk of being in a drowsy driving accident in Rhode Island by:

  • Getting at least seven hours of sleep every night
  • Going to the doctor if you still feel tired after plenty of sleep
  • Planning your daily activities to allow sufficient time for sleep
  • Developing good sleep habits by sticking to a regular schedule
  • Sleeping in a suitable environment that is dark, quiet, and cool
  • Pulling over for a power nap if you feel tired while driving
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs that make you sleepy before driving
  • Traveling with a friend who can take over driving if necessary
  • Planning on extra travel time so you can take plenty of rest breaks

Drowsy Driving Statistics in Rhode Island 

The following statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) illustrate just how dangerous drowsy driving is in Rhode Island and throughout the U.S.:

  • In one recent survey, roughly 1 in 25 adult drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving at least once in the past 30 days.
  • According to the same survey, adult drivers who reported snoring or sleeping 6 hours or less per night were more likely to report falling asleep at the wheel.
  • In one recent year, drowsy driving contributed to an estimated 91,000 traffic accidents, 50,000 crash injuries, and 800 fatalities. 
  • Drowsy driving accidents are more likely to occur between midnight and 6:00 a.m. or in the late afternoon.