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Being alert to drowsy driving dangers

Driving while drowsy is dangerous. Like drunk driving, it greatly increases the odds of being involved in car accidents. Despite these known risks, however, fatigued driving is widespread.

Sleep deprivation is comparable to the effects of alcohol on driving. Being awake for 24 hours is equivalent to have a blood alcohol content of .10, which exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent.

There is no test to uncover fatigued driving, so it is impossible to precisely determine the amount of accidents it caused. However, almost a third of respondents in a recent AAA survey admitted to driving when they were so tired that they could barely keep their eyes open. A 2018 AAA study contained an analysis of videos of drivers taken right before their accidents indicated that drowsy drivers caused 9.5 percent of the crashes.

Prescription sleep aids may be contributing to this problem. One in five motorists who took these drugs still drive within seven hours of taking these medications, according to a 2018 Consumer Reports study. However, their directions usually state that a person should sleep for at least seven to eight hours to reduce the possibility of grogginess.

One expert also argued that it is practically impossible to avoid this driving. Most parts of the country do not have full-service transit systems.

According to studies, driving with windows open to receive blasts of cold air or with the radio blasting do not prevent drowsy driving. Driving with a companion is helpful. A motorist should also take a break when they are drifting out of lanes or hitting rumble strips, missing a road sign or exit, forget the last few minutes or miles they were driving, are blinking or yawning frequently or have droopy eyelids.

Consultation with a lawyer can help determine whether a car accident victim should seek compensation for an auto accident. An attorney may be able to gather evidence and pursue a legal action in court.

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