According to newspaper reports, three residents of Dillon, South Carolina, all members of one family, were killed in a North Carolina car crash in Nash County on Saturday. Three of the victims were apparently not wearing seat belts when the driver drove off the road on I-95 and slammed into a tree. According to witnesses, the car was driving at over 80 miles per hour, and the driver did not attempt to break. One report cited a North Carolina Highway Patrol Sergeant stating that the driver might have fallen asleep.
An NHTSA expert panel on driver fatigue and automobile crashes determined that typical crashes that involved driver drowsiness occurred on high-speed roads, most likely during late night or in the middle of the afternoon. In such accidents, the driver was often alone, and did not attempt corrective measures to avoid the crash.
The expert panel also noted that motorists were more likely to get into such accidents during long drives during which they did not take enough breaks. The use of some medications, including some antihistamines in response to allergies, was also found to contribute to driver drowsiness.
All of this is particularly relevant on long weekends like the Memorial Day one, during which people tend to travel and enjoy outdoor activities. Outdoor activities might aggravate people’s allergies, making it more likely that they will take antihistamines. Having fun outdoors also tends to make us tired. Finally, long weekends often also mean long drives. The cumulative effect of all those facts is an increased danger of crashes caused by driver fatigue–crashes that can lead to serious injury or death.
If you have been injured in an accident in North or South Carolina, please contact the experienced attorneys at Lee & Smith for a free consultation regarding your case. You can reach us by phone or email.