Committed To Our Clients And Community
  1. Home
  2.  – 
  3. Car Accidents
  4.  – Drunk driving and drowsy driving: How are they related?

Drunk driving and drowsy driving: How are they related?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Driving while drunk and driving when sleepy contribute to a significant percentage of accidents on American roads. But are the two related? And which is more dangerous?

Here is what to know:

Both affect a driver’s reaction times, alertness, decision making and coordination

Being intoxicated by alcohol affects one’s judgment and ability to maintain control. A driver may find it challenging to maintain their speed or stay in their lane or may be confident to engage in risky behaviors, such as speeding. Further, alcohol affects muscle coordination. A driver may find it challenging to coordinate their eye and hand movements. 

Someone asleep or fatigued behind the wheel is highly likely to express such behaviors, as they may have trouble staying alert. And even when they wake up, perhaps after another driver honks, they may be confused. They may not be in a position to make quick decisions – their reaction times will be slow.

Therefore, even though the primary characteristics of drunk driving and drowsy driving may be slightly different, the effects of such symptoms are considerably similar.

Which one is more dangerous 

Drunk driving can seem more dangerous than drowsy driving since it can be quantified and it’s widely warned against. However, they can be considered equally dangerous. A study showed that the effects of being awake for 18 hours are similar to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%.

Drivers who have been awake for 20 hours are impaired on a level equitable to a 0.08% BAC. And after 24 hours of being awake, a driver is as impaired as someone with a BAC of 0.1%. Nonetheless, any sleep-deprived driver, regardless of the hours of lack of sleep, can cause an accident.

If a drunk or drowsy driver injures you, get more information about your case to protect your rights.