People rarely get enough sleep these days, so it is not surprising that many people are falling asleep behind the wheel of their vehicles or are unable to focus on the road due to a lack of sleep. Even just one or two hours of missed sleep can have catastrophic consequences.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that drowsy driving is involved in approximately 100,000 accidents each year, resulting in over 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries. However, some studies have estimated that these numbers are much higher.
Anyone can fall asleep at the wheel, but night shift workers, people under the age of 25, and people with untreated sleep disorders are especially at risk for drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving compared to drunk driving
Many Kentucky residents underestimate the seriousness of drowsy driving, so they are often shocked to find out that it can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, if not more dangerous. Drowsy driving, much like drunk driving, can result in:
- Slowed reaction times
- Impaired judgment
- Inability to focus on the road/pay attention
One Australian study revealed that over 20 straight hours without sleep is the same as driving with a .08 blood alcohol concentration, which is the legal limit. Not sleeping for 24 hours however is equivalent to driving with a .1 blood alcohol content, which is above the legal limit.
Filing a lawsuit after a drowsy driving accident
Both drowsy driving and drunk driving are forms of driver negligence. In other words, if a driver falls asleep behind the wheel or drives impaired and gets into a car accident, he could be sued by those injured in the accident and have to pay them damages. If you were injured in drowsy driving accident, a personal injury attorney in your area can help you file a claim against the driver who caused your accident.