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Drowsy driving just as dangerous as drunk driving

by | Aug 30, 2019 | Car Accidents

Today’s fast-paced life doesn’t leave much room for meaningful rest. This means that you are sharing the road with sleep-deprived drivers almost every time you leave your house. Since drowsy driving is becoming more common, you need to understand why these drivers are putting you in danger.

Drowsy driving is exactly what it sounds like — driving without enough sleep. While it might seem harmless, you should know that it is just as dangerous as drunk driving. It is hard to tell just how many accidents drowsy drivers cause because, unlike with drunk driving, there is no way to test whether a driver is well rested. 

Sleep is in short supply

The CDC published a report in which researchers determined that more than one-third of adults routinely get seven or fewer hours of sleep. Getting between seven and eight hours of sleep can minimize drowsy driving, and since you are a safe driver, you always make sure you get enough sleep. Unfortunately, other drivers do not always prioritize safety.

Other studies have shown that, when a driver goes 17 to 19 hours without sleeping, he or she functions the same as a drunk driver with a .05 blood-alcohol content. Drivers who go 20-25 hours without sleep are an even greater risk. Those drivers pose the same risk as someone with a .1 BAC, which is above Alabama’s limit of .08.

Drowsy driving hides in plain sight

Current estimates from the U.S. government indicate that drowsy driving accounts for anywhere from 1% to 2% of crashes nationwide. Other research indicates that these figures are probably not accurate. That is because this information is largely based off police reports, and drivers are often reluctant to admit when they feel drowsy or tired behind the wheel.

Drowsy driving is especially prevalent at night. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted research that shows drowsy driving is three times more common during the night than it is during the day. This conclusion was based on three years of continuous monitoring and observations.

You deserve help

You take the responsibility of driving seriously. This means following posted speed limits, stopping at stop signs and getting enough rest to be able to drive safely. However, none of that matters when other drivers refuse to treat driving as seriously as you do.

Recovering from a drowsy driving accident takes time and energy. If you had to take time off work, you are probably struggling to pay your medical bills related to the wreck. With all of the stress you are under, you may not have had time to fully focus on your recovery. Instead of struggling through this process alone, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to explore your options for compensation.