Driver Fatigue

It happens in a moment. A person is driving down an Idaho highway or freeway. It doesn’t matter what time of day. The person nods off. It just takes a second, but sleep overtakes the driver, and the vehicle he or she is driving surges into the other lane causing a terrible accident. The injuries are severe, perhaps even life-threatening. Medical services are required and medical expenses and lost earnings both grow. Racine Olson has faced these situations before, and we can help. Racine Olson has offices in Boise, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls. Furthermore, where there has been a serious accident that prevents our clients from coming to us, we’ll travel to you. We have 75 years of experience and are able to instill confidence in you.

Driver Fatigue Leads to Terrible Accidents in Idaho

Drivers in Idaho must be aware of their surroundings and the weather when they drive as any of these things could lead to serious accidents. One of the dangers a driver must be aware of is drowsy driving by other drivers. Recently, the Center of Disease Control came out with their 2017 report. It indicated that more than 70 million suffer from a sleep disorder. Obviously, this means that if those 70 million people are driving, they are not doing so with the proper rest or sleep hygiene. In other words, they are sleepy when driving.

As evidence of the accidents caused by drowsy drivers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that drowsy driving is responsible for approximately 72,000 car accidents per year. Even with the lower population centers in Idaho, one knows that there are certainly our share of such accidents and injuries here. We are not immune. Indeed, the freeways with few diversions likely leads to a higher number of such accidents. Whether you live in Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, or Pocatello, Idaho, drowsy driving happens and the results can be heartbreaking.

Idaho Law

Idaho law has a code provision that covers, and forbids, drowsy driving. The statute is found in Idaho Code § 49-1401(3). It reads as follows:

Inattentive driving shall be considered a lesser offense than reckless driving and shall be applicable in those circumstances where the conduct of the operator has been inattentive, careless or imprudent, in light of the circumstances then existing, rather than heedless or wanton, or in those cases where the danger to persons or property by the motor vehicle operator's conduct is slight. Every person convicted of inattentive driving under this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be sentenced to jail for not more than ninety (90) days or may be fined not more than three hundred dollars ($ 300), or may be punished by both fine and imprisonment.

In summary, this statute provides that where a driver acts in a careless or inattentive or imprudent manner, then he or she can be guilty of Inattentive Driving. This is important because, as explained in other web pages on this web site, once a person is found to be in violation of a statute, that defines the negligence standard and the jury may be instructed that the wrongdoer is liable as a matter of law. This is also known as negligence per se.

Guarding Against Drowsy Driving in Idaho

Some people are more likely to drive in a fatigued fashion than others. Who are they and what can you do to make sure you are not one of them?

Get Enough Sleep

Make sure you get enough sleep before driving. That would seem to be an easy thing to do, but Americans frequently do not get enough sleep. The CDC has found that people who get less than six hours of sleep are much more likely to drive drowsy. If you find yourself blinking or yawning frequently, perhaps drifting out of your lane, or onto the rumble slip, honestly assess your situation. Do you need to pull over and take a nap? Even 20-30 minutes helps make a safer driver.

The long freeways and highways between Twin Falls, Pocatello, Boise, and Idaho Falls, Idaho tend to be straight and wide open. At certain times of the day, traffic is lower in those areas. Be smart. If you are traveling in those parts of the State, be aware of your wakefulness. If you’re tired, pull over and get some rest.

Sleep Disorders and Medications

People with sleep disorders and medications are much more likely to have a drowsy driving vehicle or truck accident in Idaho. Be mindful of what the doctor has prescribed and how it will affect you. Likewise, compliance with driving restrictions for sleep disorders is a must. Be careful.

Racine Olson

At Racine Olson we know that more than likely the reason you visited this web page is that you’ve been injured in an accident. Maybe it was a Drowsy driving or Fatigued Driver accident. These accidents are going to continue regardless of the laws prohibiting it. We can help you, and we think you’ll be glad you stopped in to meet us. You’ll meet with a lawyer who has handled cases like yours before. That attorney will have a secretary and a paralegal or legal assistant to make sure all of your questions get answered, and there is always someone there when you need to talk. We know how to maximize your case, because we’ve been there before. Trust us with your problem. Give us a call. Problem solved.

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