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South Florida drivers beware: drowsy driving linked to 1,500 fatal car accidents annually

Driver fatigue has been linked to more than 100,000 serious car accidents annually that leave 71,000 people injured, 1,550 dead and cost more than $12.5 billion in damages and lost wages, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports.

For the family of eight-year-old Ronshay Dugan, who was killed two years ago in a Tallahassee multi-vehicle crash involving the school bus she was riding, a cement truck, an SUV and a van, the reality of driver fatigue is much more than a statistic. For them it is a grim reminder of their tragic loss that has become a mission in public awareness.

West Palm Beach car accident attorneys at Freeman & Mallard LLC understand the legacy of pain and suffering that can accompany a South Florida car accident when a loved one is seriously injured or killed. Our team of lawyers, investigators, medical professional and support staff recognize the emotional, physical and financial devastation that can be caused by someone’s negligence. Our mission is to help victims preserve their rights and regain control of their lives.

For the Dugans, one step in that direction involves the passage of the 2010 Ronshay Dugans Act which designates the first week of September as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Through this awareness campaign, the family hopes to expose Florida drivers to the dangers of driving while tired.

“Ronshay’s family shares the story of their tragic loss so that others don’t have to experience the same,” said State Rep. Alan Williams, who sponsored the Act. “Drowsy driving decreases awareness slows reaction time and impairs judgment. The catastrophic losses that can occur when drivers doze off at the wheel can be prevented, and we want drivers to plan their daily commute and long trips accordingly so that they can arrive safely at their destinations.”

Tips for avoiding drowsy driving:

overconfident and fall victim to drowsy driving. Measures that drivers can take to stay alert behind the steering wheel are:

-Get a good night’s sleep.

-Ride with a friend.

-Stop and take a break every few hours.

-Don’t drink and drive

-Beware the side effects of prescription medication

South Florida car accident attorneys at Freeman & Mallard have been successfully and aggressively representing car accident victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.

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