An elderly female passenger inside a car suffered critical injuries when the Honda Accord she was in became sandwich between a second car and the back of a stopped HRT bus on Jefferson Avenue in Newport News, Virginia (VA). The chain-reaction rear-end collision is being blamed on a woman who fell asleep behind the wheel of her Kia Rio.
The wreck occurred near the intersection with Turnberry Boulevard at around 8 am on March 22, 2015. Six passengers aboard the bus at the time of the crash also reported injuries, but news reports did not indicate whether any of those commuters required hospital treatment. Also unclear in the aftermath of the three-vehicle accident is why the woman who rear-end the car waiting behind the transit bus could not stay awake while driving.
Driver fatigue ranks alongside distracted driving and driving while intoxicated as a leading cause of traffic accidents that leave people injured, disabled and, sadly, dead. Commercial truck drivers who operate overnight to avoid delays and keep tight schedules have proven especially prone to losing control of their control of their big rigs because they nod off behind the wheel, but every person becomes a more dangerous driver when he or she fails to get adequate rest before hitting the road. Nightshift workers, individuals suffering from medical conditions that make sleeping difficult and drug and alcohol abusers run risks for fatigued driving that put everyone else's health and life at risk.
As a Virginia personal injury lawyer who has helped many victims of crashes caused by fatigued drivers, I cannot stress strongly enough how important getting a good night's sleep before driving is. When circumstances make taking that precaution difficult, a person who finds him or herself zoning out behind the wheel needs to pull over and rest. The harm one can do with an out-of-control car or truck is simply too great to risk against a bet on making it just a few more miles before finding a proper place for a nap.