Last month, Brandon Rogers, a 29-year-old physician and promising contestant on “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) became the victim of an apparent drowsy driving car accident. In addition to being a talented singer, Rogers was a doctor in his first year of a three-year family practice residency program. He planned to juggle his music career and his profession as an osteopathic physician. Tragically, just weeks before his audition was scheduled to air, Rogers was involved in a serious car accident that claimed his life. Reports indicate Rogers was being driven by his friend, another doctor, who may have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Drowsy Driving an Epidemic in the U.S.
About 60 percent of adult drivers admit to driving when they felt sleepy, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll. Many people associate fatal car accidents with driving under the influence, but a surprisingly large number of them may be attributed to drivers falling asleep at the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that at least 100,000 car crashes are due to driver fatigue each year, resulting in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
Drowsy driving can be just as deadly as drunk driving. Not getting enough sleep slows reaction time, decreases alertness and impairs judgment and vision. This can cause drivers to swerve into another lane, crash into another car or veer off the road entirely.
In this case, Rogers and two friends were traveling to a family event after Rogers sang the national anthem at a hospital graduation ceremony. The driver veered off the road and crashed into a tree. Officers responded to the scene of the accident at approximately 4:30 in the morning. The driver was unharmed but both Rogers, who was in the front passenger seat, and another passenger in the back seat were hospitalized. Police say drugs and alcohol were not involved. According to the crash report, the driver told police that he had recently finished a long shift at work and fell asleep while driving.
Fatal car accidents such as this one may be avoided by spreading awareness about the dangers of drowsy driving and the necessity of getting enough sleep. The amount of sleep each person requires depends on factors such as age and gender, but typically, at least seven hours of sleep is required for optimal functioning. Warning signs of drowsy driving, such as frequent blinking or yawning, drifting into other lanes, and difficulty remembering the last few miles driven should be an indication that it is time to pull over and get some rest.
AGT has honored Rogers’ memory by airing his audition at the request of his family. The footage shows Rogers receiving a standing ovation and a unanimous vote to move on to the next round. Earlier this year, Rogers was invited by Boys II Men to perform at three of their Las Vegas shows. The singers reached out to his family to express their condolences for the young man’s untimely death.
New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving AccidentsIf you have been injured or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a drowsy driving car accident, contact an experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP. Our experienced, compassionate legal team can help you decide which legal course of action will help you obtain justice and compensation. Our offices are located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River and we represent clients throughout New Jersey. For a free consultation, call us at 732-777-0100 or contact us online.