Car Accidents Due to Drowsy Drivers

Friday, February 18, 2022

Car Accidents Due to Drowsy Drivers

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

In April 2021, a 33-year-old man driving a Dodge Charger fell asleep in Burnside. He crashed into a house on E. 93rd St. around 2:00 AM. In October 2019, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson fell asleep at a stop sign after he had been drinking. A truck driver fell asleep on Interstate 55 just outside Chicago and crashed into a dozen cars. In June 2021, another truck driver in Berkeley, just outside Chicago, was hauling firecrackers when he crashed after falling asleep. The crash caused his trailer to explode.

The fact is that drowsy drivers are out, causing accidents on our Chicago roadways. Even with the new self-driving cars, things might not improve. Tesla asks drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel when they put their cars on auto-pilot, so being awake is a prerequisite. Yet, in May 2021, a Tesla went over 80 miles an hour through Palatine. The driver had been caught asleep at the wheel for the third time. It took the police two miles to wake him up.

Drowsy drivers should be liable for the harm they cause, and victims should seek help from a car accident attorney. 

Did You Know?

Everyone knows driving while you are tired is a bad idea, but just how bad is it? Your reaction times, ability to focus, and ability to stay attentive significantly drop if you’re feeling sleepy. If you are drowsy behind the wheel:

  • You are three times more likely to cause an accident.
  • You may be as impaired and dangerous as a drunk driver (20 hours of non-stop drive time is equivalent to having a blood alcohol level right on the 0.08% legal limit).


Statistics About Falling Asleep at the Wheel 

The Centers for Disease Control and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that:

  • One in every 25 drivers fell asleep at the wheel in any given month—even if it was just for a second.
  • Almost 100,000 car wrecks were a result of drowsy driving in 2017. These crashes caused 6,000 deaths and 50,000 injuries.
  • Fatigue-related auto accidents cost society over $100 billion every year (and that figure does not include property damage)

New Technology to Reduce Drowsy Driving  

In 2026, Congress is requiring that automakers install technology to cut down on impaired driving. Upcoming self-driving vehicles must have “monitoring systems” with infrared cameras (heat detection) that passively monitor inside the car. This monitoring can determine if a driver has an active, engaged visual search pattern, shows symptoms of fatigue, falls asleep or passes out, and if they are intoxicated. When the system detects that the driver is impaired, the driver will be told to pull over. If the driver does not comply, the car will curb itself. Hopefully, this new monitoring system will reduce the incidents of exploding trailers and house crashes in Chicago.

We Are Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Ready to Fight for You  

Malman Law is a team of dedicated, passionate attorneys trained and experienced in handling car accident lawsuits, insurance claims, and more. Find out how to get results by setting up a free consultation today.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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