We all know the dangers of reckless driving, such as driving under the influence and disobeying traffic signals. However, activities like drowsy driving fall into a more gray area in terms of irresponsible driving habits. When you fall asleep behind the wheel, it may be hard to tell that it’s happening – until it’s too late.
Records show that drowsy driving makes up for 1% of all roadway fatalities in Pennsylvania to date. However, experts and activists on the matter claim that that number is misleading and that drowsy driving accidents are sorely underreported and overlooked in PA. As a result, fatigued driving accident victims and their families often go without the justice they truly deserve, and every day we fight for them to have a voice in this ongoing issue.
Recklessness vs. Negligence
You don’t hear about drivers on the road being charged with falling asleep behind the wheel in Pennsylvania, and the reason is simple: there is no mention of sleep or drowsy driving in PA’s statutes. Unlike other forms of impaired driving like drunk driving, driver fatigue is not easy for law enforcement to properly indicate, measure, or penalize. So when you drive tired and get pulled over, you may be able to leave the scene due to a clear breathalyzer result. However, a CDC study found that someone who gets behind the wheel of a car after being awake longer than 24 hours is equatable to having a blood alcohol level of 0.10 percent. Therefore, driving while fatigued can have the same catastrophic results as driving while intoxicated.
A Lack of Consequences
If you are found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should expect to go to jail. However, if you are found to just be tired while driving, you may avoid any jail time. Even in the event of a drowsy driving-related crash, the perpetrator typically avoids jail time as well, as Attorney Gregg Freeburn explained in a recent interview with Fox News. By turning a blind eye to this sort of dangerous activity, law enforcement is failing thousands of people and their families in America each year, including Joshua Bishop of Mount Joy in Lancaster County.
Experts say that the number of reported drowsy driving accidents is so low because it is simply inaccurate and underreported. Unfortunately, even if someone is pulled over for mimicking the signs of driving under the influence and instead deemed only drowsy, they are usually only let go with a citation.
Drowsy Driving Accident Attorneys Who Care
At Freeburn Law, we know how discouraging it can be when the system that promises to protect you fails to do so. Drowsy driving accidents and fatalities in Pennsylvania are unacknowledged and underreported due to inconsistencies in our legal system, and there is much work to be done to create safer roadways. At our firm, we work tirelessly to make a difference for accident victims statewide. Our experienced car accident lawyers will fight for your case to be seen, heard, and brought to justice. If you or a loved one been involved in a car crash due to a driver falling asleep at the wheel, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Call the Freeburn Law office toll-free at 717-777-7777 or submit a contact form on our website for a free consultation of your case. At Freeburn Law, we will fight for you.