A bizarre accident in Florida is a stark reminder of the dangers of drowsy driving. The accident occurred on the Dolphin Expressway in Miami near the Northwest 87th Avenue exit. Apparently the driver fell asleep while on the expressway and crashed into a guardrail.
Normally guardrail accidents cause damage to the side of a vehicle. Oddly enough, a 10 foot piece of the guardrail crashed into the car's passenger side window and exited through the back window, essentially impaling the car.
Remarkably, the driver was not hurt in the accident.
Drivers have a legal (and practical) duty to pay attention to their surroundings and avoid hazards. To meet this duty, it is best to avoid alcohol and other mood altering drugs and to have proper rest before getting behind the wheel. While the report did not indicate how long the driver had been on the road, he admitted to authorities that he had fallen asleep. He was arrested and charged with being a habitual traffic offender. He also was reportedly driving on a suspended license.
Drowsy driving has been a national problem affecting primarily truck drivers in Texas, even though anyone can be vulnerable to falling asleep behind the wheel. Drowsy drivers who cause accidents could be held liable in the same fashion as drunk drivers. They basically failed to use reasonable care in driving their vehicles. People injured by drowsy drivers can seek compensation for their injuries (including pain and suffering), damage to their vehicle, medical expenses, as well as lost wages.
If you have questions about your rights and options after an accident with a drowsy driver, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Source: MiamiHerald.com, Freak accident impales car on Dolphin Expressway, March 25, 2013