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Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

The realities of driving while fatigued

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Florida drivers may be falling asleep behind the wheel without thinking about the risk of getting into an accident. While most people are familiar with the warnings of driving drunk, not many think about avoiding driving while tired. Unfortunately, about 20% of U.S. adult drivers have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel of their vehicle.

How does drowsiness impact your driving?

While it might be surprising to learn, drowsy driving can actually be equivalent to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When you’re drowsy, you have a slower reaction time and are less vigilant of hazards that are around you. One shocking statistic is that a person who has been awake 20 hours without sleep is equivalent to a person with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08. This is a level at which the person would be considered legally intoxicated.

Drowsy drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a crash

Motor vehicle accidents can be caused by fatigued drivers. Many people do not realize the effects that fatigue has on their driving abilities. It’s not uncommon for people to experience microsleep sessions if they are extremely fatigued. These microsleeps sessions may last for only 4 or 5 seconds at a time. However, driving at a highway speed for 5 seconds is equivalent to driving the length of a football field.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that about 100,000 crashes annually involve drowsy driving. These crashes result in about 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities each year. All of these accidents, injuries and fatalities might have been avoided if the fatigued drivers did not get behind the wheels of their vehicles.

As more people try to put in extra hours throughout the day, their need for sleep affects their ability to drive safely while on the roadway. If you’ve been injured because of a drowsy driver, it’s important to seek the assistance of a licensed attorney to represent your case.

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