West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., Weigh in on AAA Drowsy Driving Study

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Florida personal injury lawyers Adriana Gonzalez and Charles E. Cartwright said fatigued driving plays a major role in fatal car accidents in Florida and throughout the nation.

Other scientific studies have shown that driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as drunk driving, yet a significant number of drivers are taking unnecessary risks and driving when they can hardly keep their eyes open.

West Palm Beach car accident attorney Adriana Gonzalez of Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., today said a new AAA study that finds one in five fatal crashes involve driver fatigue should serve as a reminder to all motorists to understand the warning signs of drowsy driving.

Gonzalez commented on a news release posted at aaa.com by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (More than One-in-five Fatal Crashes Involve Drowsy Drivers,” Nov. 3, 2014).

“As personal injury attorneys, we know fatigued driving plays a significant role in fatal car accidents,” Gonzalez said. “While this study does not come as a big surprise to us, I do hope it serves as a wake-up call to drivers who might not think twice about getting behind the wheel after having little sleep or who might be tempted push themselves to keep driving when they are extremely tired.”

According to AAA, researchers found that 21 percent of all fatal crashes involve driver fatigue. Furthermore, the study found that one-third of motor vehicle accidents involving a drowsy driver result in injuries and more than 6,000 fatigued-related crashes each year result in at least one fatality.

“This is a problem that is not only limited to drivers of passenger cars. Recently, we have seen high-profile truck accidents involving drivers who may have been fatigued,” Gonzalez said. “At Gonzalez & Cartwright, we call on trucking companies to educate their drivers about the risks of driving while fatigued. Studies such as this one done by AAA should be discussed as part of a driver’s training.”

Attorney Charles E. Cartwright noted that while most responsible drivers would never get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, many people don’t think twice about driving while fatigued.

“We hope research that shows the dangers of fatigued driving helps change people’s attitudes,” Cartwright said. “Other scientific studies have shown that driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as drunk driving, yet a significant number of drivers are taking unnecessary risks and driving when they can hardly keep their eyes open.”

According to the AAA news release, Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said nearly all Americans find fatigued driving “unacceptable,” but more than 28 percent of people admitted to driving while drowsy in the last month.

The AAA lists warning signs of drowsy driving that all drivers should understand:

  •     An inability to recall the last few miles traveled
  •     Disconnected or wandering thoughts
  •     Problems focusing or keeping eyes open
  •     Feeling as though your head is very heavy
  •     Drifting in and out of your lane
  •     Repeated yawning
  •     Accidentally tailgating other vehicles
  •     Missing traffic signs

“If you experience any of these signs while driving, you should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so,” Gonzalez said. “You don’t want to risk causing an accident and upending your life or the life of someone else.”

Gonzalez said anyone who is injured as a result of a fatigued driver should seek the advice of legal counsel. “An attorney can hold the negligent driver accountable and help send a message that drowsy driving is unacceptable,” Gonzalez said. “If you are injured or lose a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.”

About Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A.
Charles Cartwright obtained his law degree from the University of Miami in 1993 and has been practicing law in South Florida for over 20 years. Well versed in all steps of the personal injury process, Cartwright is an AV-rated attorney who has received the highest rating from Martindale Hubbell.

Adriana Gonzalez obtained her law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida, and is the current president of the Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association. Gonzalez has appeared on Spanish language television and radio stations discussing legal issues important to the Hispanic community. In 2014, Super Lawyers named her one of Florida’s Rising Stars for her work in personal injury law. It was the third year in a row Gonzalez received the honor. She also was elected to the board of the Palm Beach County Justice Association in 2013.

For more information on what to do if you’ve been injured in a car accident in South Florida, call (561) 533-0345.
Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. is located at 813 Lucerne Ave, Lake Worth FL 33460. Visit http://www.gonzalezcartwright.com

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