Drowsy Driving Can Be Compared To Driving While Intoxicated
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics reveal there were over 600 traffic deaths as a result of drowsy driving in 2020 with thousands more injured in drowsy driving crashes. Many experts in the fields of public health, traffic safety, and sleep science believe these estimates are conservative since fatigued driving is often underreported.
Driving a vehicle when you’re tired or sleepy is common in America. One study by the National Sleep Foundation found that 37% of drivers self-reported having nodded off or fallen asleep while driving at least once in their lifetime and over 10% said they fall asleep at the wheel at least once a month. The actual scope of the problem is just beginning to come into focus. As researchers continue to study the prevalence and impact of fatigued driving on public health, it’s important for drivers of all ages and experience levels to educate themselves about the dangers of fatigued driving.
Fatigued Driving Slows Your Reaction Time – Simply driving while fatigued or sleep-deprived greatly increases your risk of being injured or killed in a car crash. Studies show that sleep deprivation results in overall decreased psychomotor performance, which impacts short term memory and reaction time. While reaction times often only vary by fractions of a second, these small delays in perceiving and reacting to changes in traffic patterns, stoplights, and other stimuli can have disastrous results.
Drowsy Drivers Are Three Times More Likely to Be in an Accident – The National Safety Council says fatigued drivers are three times more likely to be in a car crash. The risk increases when you add in factors like weather conditions, poor visibility, or distracted driving. Fatigued driving also leads to making the driver more inattentive and more likely to make poor judgments or bad decisions.
Drowsiness May Be As Intoxicating As Alcohol – When it comes to driving, the less sleep you get, the more impaired your motor skills and cognitive abilities become. Anyone who sleeps fewer than six hours every night or suffers from sleep fragmentation (waking up multiple times throughout the night) can see this compound over time into a sleep debt. The longer you go without sleeping, the worse the results. A study published in Nature found that driving after going more than 24 hours without sleep is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10%—beyond the legal limit of 0.08% in the United States.
Sleepy Drivers May Not Even Realize They’re Fatigued – Possibly the biggest risk of driving while tired is poor judgment. That poor judgment often means a drowsy driver doesn’t even realize that they are too fatigued to be behind the wheel. Frequent yawning and heavy eyes aren’t the only warning signs that drivers should watch out for. Other symptoms of drowsy driving include:
- Excessive blinking, watery eyes
- Daydreaming or difficulty focusing
- Trouble remembering the past few miles
- Missing exits, road signs, or turns
- Difficulty maintaining a constant speed
- Drifting out of your lane
- Following other cars too closely
- Driving over rumble strips
Fatigued Driving Crashes May Be More Serious – While more data and research is needed to understand the link between drowsy driving and fatal traffic accidents, fatigued drivers have the cards stacked against them. Not only does drowsy driving increase the risk of being in a crash, but drivers may also be more likely to sustain catastrophic injuries or even death in these crashes.
Drowsy driving crashes most often happen between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. These drivers may benefit from overall lighter traffic at night but they must contend with lower visibility and more large trucks on the highway. Additionally, many of these crashes happen on highways at higher speeds and result in the vehicle leaving the roadway or crossing into oncoming traffic. When a person completely falls asleep at the wheel and loses control of their vehicle, there is often no sign of any attempt to brake, and thus a higher chance of a high-speed, head-on collision or rollover accident.
We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when insurance companies fail to offer full compensation. We help with serious injuries that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth, LLP. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of experience specializing in only representing injured people. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We would be honored to represent you!