Fatigued driving, speeding and loss of control appear to have combined to cause a fatal wreck on I-85 in Spartanburg, South Carolina (SC). The single-car crash occurred close to mile marker 81 outside of the town of Cowpens in the early morning hours of June 29, 2015. The deceased victim was a passenger in vehicle who had been wearing a seatbelt while riding in the back seat.
According to police, the driver fell asleep behind the wheel and left her foot on the accelerator before running off the right side of the interstate and crashing into a guardrail and signpost. News reports do not mention whether anyone else in the car suffered injuries but do note that the driver has been charged with driving too fast for conditions.
Any speed is too fast for a sleeping driver, of course. While everyone recognizes this, individuals at risk for losing focus and control due to lack of rest take to the roads by the thousands each day. At best, the act constitutes negligence that increases risks for crashing and injuring or killing others. Too often, a person who nods off in the driver's seat does cause a wreck in which people suffer everything from traumatic brain injuries to deaths.
My Carolina wrongful death law firm colleagues and I have helped many victims of fatigued drivers. In each case, the crash and resulting harms most likely would not have occurred if the at-fault driver had simply pulled over or never taken the wheel in the first place. Few things do more to prevent wrecks than staying awake and alert while driving.