Drowsy driving and the ever-expanding law of driver liability

December 07, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The cause of more than 20 percent of traffic fatalities may not be what you think.

A driver in Southwest Australia was recently arrested because the frost on his windshield was so thick when he got into his car at midnight to get a burger that he hung his head out the window so he could see where he was going. 

Turns out he was going right into the traffic light pole, which is where he was arrested for reckless driving after the crash. 

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released the results of its survey last month in which it analyzed almost 14,000 car crashes in the last five years. It found that 21 percent of crashes resulting in death were caused not by drunk driving but by drowsy driving, which it defined as either feeling sleepy and fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel.  

Which is a good reminder: Even if you aren't impaired by alcohol, if you're tired you may not be driving safely. So, if you need a burger in the middle of the night, call a cab or call a delivery service, which will be easier than clearing your windshield, cheaper than paying a lawyer, and cause less heartache even after getting on the scale the next morning.