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.