Understanding the Impact of Drowsiness on Driving
Whether it was due to stress, a long day, or chronic insomnia, we have all had a sleepless night or two. But unfortunately, life doesn’t stop just because you didn’t get a good night’s rest and that means there are places you have to go regardless. However, when tired drivers get behind the wheel, they are actually placing themselves and other drivers at risk for being in a car accident.
What is the Impact of Drowsiness on Driving?
According to the National Safety Council, driving while drowsy is similar in effect to driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, driving after going more than 20 hours without sleep is the equivalent of driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent which is the U.S. legal limit. Further, a driver is three times more likely to be in a car crash if fatigued.
These statistics are especially sobering because half of U.S. adult drivers admit to consistently getting behind the wheel while feeling drowsy. Additionally, about 20 percent admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point in the past year and almost half of drivers surveyed admitted that this has happened at least once during their driving careers.
The potential implications of this kind of behavior are also clear from the number of documented injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 1,300 people were fatally injured in accidents involving a drowsy driver in 2017 alone.
What Are Warning Signs That You May Be Too Tired to Drive?
There is no breath or blood test to objectively screen for sleepiness. But because drowsy driving can have such a serious effect on everyone, it is important to know the risk factors for drowsy driving to keep yourself safe on the road. Warning signs that you may be too tired to drive can include behavior such as:
- Frequent blinking
- Nodding off
- Excessive yawning
- Struggling to keep your eyes open
- Inability to remember driving the last few miles
- Being unable to remember your route
- Missing road signs or turns
- Difficulty maintaining your speed
- Drifting out of your lane
Additionally, make sure that in general, you strive to get a good night of sleep and quickly seek medical treatment if you suspect you may have a sleeping disorder.
Have You or a Loved One Been the Victim of a Drowsy Driving Accident?
Due to the seriousness of driving drowsy and the difficulty in determining drowsiness as the cause of a car accident, it is essential to seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible. If you’ve been injured in a drowsy driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation and benefits to help you pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. However, it is imperative that you obtain competent legal help from a team that can help you determine who is liable and hold the responsible parties responsible. As the experienced South Florida car accident attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez, we are here to help you understand your legal options and fight for what you deserve. Contact us today.