How often have you woken up in the morning feeling as though you didn’t even go to bed? More than likely, it happens far more than you would like. Today’s fast-paced world doesn’t seem to reward people for getting enough rest. Between work, family and other obligations, it can be difficult to get a restful night’s sleep.
If you are one of the lucky ones who do get enough rest, you are still in danger from drowsy driving. Other people on the roads you travel may not be as lucky and put your life at risk. The danger is much more serious than you may know.
What the data says
Short-term memory loss and slower reaction times are just part of the problem. Sleep deprived drivers may also become aggressive on the roads and take unnecessary risks. Below is just some of the data that illustrates how dangerous driving drowsy can be:
- If you stay awake for 18 hours, your body acts as though you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05.
- Research shows that staying awake for 24 hours is equivalent to a BAC of 0.10, which is above Florida’s legal limit of 0.08.
- Approximately 60% of the country’s population admits to driving drowsy within the past year.
- Over one-third of drivers admitted to nodding off behind the wheel, some within the last month.
- Each year, a certain percentage of serious or fatal crashes are thought to be linked to sleep deprived drivers.
As you can see, the human body does not react well to sleep deprivation. The more you fail to get adequate sleep, the worse the situation gets. The problem with the data regarding accidents involving drowsy driving is that there is no way to test for it. The consensus is that the problem is more than likely even worse than people think. Officials may attribute some crashes to other factors such as distracted driving instead, which means the numbers may be much higher than reported.
What to do if you are in an accident with a drowsy driver
Serious injuries can leave you with a significant amount of medical bills, time away from work and other damages. You could exercise your right to file a personal injury claim in an effort to receive compensation for the damages you sustained. As part of that claim, you will need to prove that the other driver was negligent or reckless. If the evidence shows the other driver was sleep deprived or even fell asleep at the wheel, it could go a long way toward providing the evidence needed.