According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated
1 in 25 adult drivers reported falling asleep while driving in the 30
days before they were questioned. The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) also estimates drowsy driving was responsible for
72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013 alone. In fact,
most safety administrations consider drowsy driving to be a type of impaired
driving and consider it just as dangerous as driving while under the influence
of drugs or alcohol.
Driving under the influence is prosecuted rather severely across the United
States because it is reckless and dangerous. However, people usually don’t
consider sleeplessness in the same category. If you’re tired, you
still have to go to work regardless of whether or not your insomnia let
you sleep. If a police officer pulls you over, however, he or she can’t
exactly arrest you for being sleepy, particularly if you’re wide
awake by the time the officer knocks on your window.
Part of the danger of drowsiness is its influence on your brain. Those
who study the phenomenon say chronic lack of sleep slows down the mind
and reaction time, just as alcohol does. A delayed response time prevents
you from responding quickly to hazards on the road.
Adults should be getting anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, particularly
commercial motor vehicle drivers, who often have to operate a vehicle
at night. If you also have trouble sleeping, it may be time to see a physician
regarding your sleep habits. Some people experience sleep apnea without
ever realizing it (when a person repeatedly stops and starts breathing
while sleeping), which can ruin a person’s sleeping patterns.
If you find yourself yawning or blinking rapidly, have difficulty remembering
the past few driven miles, missed your exit, drifted away from your lane,
or hit a rumble strip on the side of the road, it may be time to stop
and take a short nap. If you have a passenger capable of taking over,
let them handle some of the trip while you rest.
However, if you were injured by a drowsy driver, make sure you seek compensation
for your medical costs, lost wages, and property damage. Our skilled
New Orleans car accident attorneys have been helping people with their
personal injury cases for more than 3 decades. Let us see what we can do for you.
Call Womac Law Offices at (504) 470-3935 or fill out our online form
to schedule a free case consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you.