Substances other than alcohol are involved in 18% of car accident deaths. But it isn’t always a substance that causes reckless driving. Sometimes it’s a lack of sleep.
According to AAA, drowsy driving plays a role in eight times more severe accidents than the federal estimate suggests. In fact, AAA found that 9.5% of all car accidents in a 700-crash study involved drowsy driving.
Why is drowsy driving an issue if there’s no substance involved?
The problem with driving while intoxicated is that intoxication can impact your ability to drive. Alcohol and other substances impair your reaction time, decision making, and your attention span.
Sleep deprivation has the same type of impairment. Lack of sleep impairs your cognitive functioning, which impacts how you react and respond to situations even if you don’t fall asleep at the wheel.
When you get your license, you sign an agreement known as the duty of care. This means you’re legally obligated to be safe on the road and follow traffic laws.
It could be argued that when you drive drowsy, you’re breaching that duty of care. It’s up to your attorneys to help you argue against that claim.
Is driving drowsy really that big an issue?
Approximately 35% of U.S. drivers sleep less than seven hours a night, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That said, even if you’re not driving drowsy yourself, you’ve been on the road with someone who has.
What’s more, despite the fact that 96% of surveyed drivers told AAA that drowsy driving is a serious threat to those on the road, up to 29% admitted to driving drowsy in the previous month.
It’s important to note that coffee or energy drinks aren’t the solutions to drowsy driving. Although these beverages may help you feel more alert, your cognitive functioning is still impaired. That said, if you’re too tired to drive, don’t get behind the wheel.
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Whether another driver has filed a personal injury claim against you or you’ve been charged with DWI, attorneys like those at the law firm of Patrick Short can help. Our professional attorneys have the experience to navigate the claims filed or charged against you to achieve the best possible outcome.