The North Carolina State Police reported December 12 that a driver in Gaston County fell asleep behind the wheel and caused a fatal accident.
Police stated that the driver of a Dodge pickup truck, 33 year-old Jamison Rodgers, apparently fell asleep while driving south on Mauney Road in rural Gaston County, North Carolina. Troopers reported that the man drove past a stop sign and hit another pickup truck going east on Dallas Cherryville Highway. The driver of that truck was 52 year old Orlando Suarez and he died upon impact.
It is expected the police will file charges against Rodgers.
It is very clear that drowsy driving is deadly driving. The NHTSA reported in 2014 that 846 people were killed by fatigued drivers. These reported deaths in 2014 are consistent with statistics for the last 10 years. From 2005 to 2009, there were approximately 83,000 crashes caused by drowsy driving. Each year, there are approximately 886 deaths from such crashes and an estimated 37,000 injuries.
Crashes from drowsy driving often share similar characteristics. Sleepiness can cause crashes of all kinds and at all times, but most of the accidents happen from 12 am to 6 am, or in the late afternoon. These are the times when there is a natural dip in the circadian rhythm, which is the internal body clock that regulates when we sleep.
Most fatigued driving crashes involve a single vehicle with a driver and no passengers, and most occurr on rural roads and highways.
As Virginia and North Carolina personal injury attorneys, we want to remind drivers to avoid driving fatigued, so as to avoid serious personal injury and even death in a car accident:
- The best way to not drive fatigued is to get enough sleep. Sleep is the only way to ensure that you are alert behind the wheel. Make it a priority to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
- Before you start on a long trip, get a good night’s rest, or you could put yourself and others at risk.
- Do not drink any alcohol before you drive. Drinking alcohol can make you sleepier.
- If you take any prescription or over the counter drugs that cause drowsiness, be sure that you do not drive after taking them.
- If you have to drive during times when you are likely to fall asleep, be very aware if you are showing signs of drowsiness.
If you fall asleep while driving, you could cause a serious or fatal accident. Our personal injury attorneys settled a truck crash case for $5.5 million when the truck driver fell asleep and caused a serious rear end crash. Get enough sleep before driving to avoid this happening to you.