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The similarities between drowsy driving and drunk driving

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2021 | Car Accidents |

California and other states throughout our great nation have witnessed about 91,000 drowsy driving accidents in 2017. While many may be familiar with drunk driving or speeding, most people haven’t heard the phrase drowsy driving. In reality, many drivers are guilty of it from time to time and probably don’t even realize its dangers.

What counts as drowsy driving?

Drowsy driving happens when you choose to drive your vehicle when you are extremely tired. Most drowsy driving car accidents happen to people who have been awake for 18 or more hours. This large lack of sleep can inhibit your ability to drive your vehicle safely on the roadway.

Comparisons have been made between drowsy drivers and drunk drivers. People who go 18 hours without sleeping have decreased vigilance, longer reaction times and decreased coordination equal to that of a person with a blood-alcohol level of .05%. Those who have been awake for 20 hours have an impairment level equal to having a blood-alcohol level of .08%. Lastly, those who remain awake for 24 solid hours show a driving impairment level equivalent to a person who has a blood-alcohol level of .1%.

Physical impairment symptoms

Just as alcohol physically impairs the body, so does being fatigued. Drivers who get behind the wheel drowsy tend to drift in and out of their lane. They experience a slowed reaction time that makes them less likely to respond quickly to an unexpected roadway obstacle. Drowsy drivers tend to tailgate more often and are at a higher risk of being involved in a rear-end collision.

Driving drowsy is equivalent to driving drunk. While drowsy driving may not get the press that drunk driving does, it’s still just as dangerous. If you’ve been injured as a result of a drowsy driver, it’s a good idea to seek legal help in fighting your case.
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