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Drowsy Driving May Be a Greater Risk to Hilton Head Drivers Than Previously Known

South Carolina Asleep at the Wheel AccidentTraffic accidents caused by drowsy driving are a very real threat to the safety of Hilton Head road users. Historically, the problem hasn't been studied as widely as other roadway risks and the lack of evidence can make it difficult to determine the pervasiveness of the problem. However, new research indicates that drowsy driving may be more prevalent than previously thought.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that official government data shows drowsy driving being involved in only 1 to 2 percent of traffic accidents. But because these reports involve drivers' own admissions and guesswork after accidents occur, they appear to underreport the actual number.

AAA used in-vehicle monitoring and data collection equipment to gather more accurate information about the causes of car accidents. This study identified drowsy driving as a factor in over 10 percent of car accidents involving significant property damage, airbag deployment, or injury.

South Carolina Drivers Have a Legal Obligation to Avoid Drowsy Driving

The South Carolina Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways has many provisions which govern driver behavior. These include stopping at traffic signals and stop signs, controlling speed, yielding the right of way, and other such safety provisions. A violation of one (or more) of these traffic rules can be used as evidence that a driver was negligent.

South Carolina Injuries Caused By Drowsy Drivers

The effects of drowsy driving are all too real for many South Carolina residents. In Columbia, an SUV driver fell asleep at the wheel and caused a serious collision involving multiple vehicles. WISTV reports that the accident occurred near the Woodhill Shopping Center. This means that shoppers, pedestrians, and people in the parking lot were all placed in danger by a single drowsy driver.

An even more serious collision resulted in the death of a South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper in Greenville. According to Fox Carolina, the accident occurred when a pickup truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into the trooper's patrol vehicle, which was stopped in the emergency lane of Interstate 385. The investigation revealed no signs of impairment in the driver. He was ticketed for failure to maintain in his lane. The trooper's family (including a wife and three young daughters), friends, and coworkers on the force are left behind.

Losses caused by a drowsy driver can have a devastating impact on victims for the rest of their lives, for which they are entitled to compensation.

Our Hilton Head auto accident attorneys know how to deal with unfair practices by insurance companies. Drivers have a legal duty of care to other road users and this duty is violated if sleepiness causes a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle.

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