Study: Drowsy Driving Can Be Just as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

drowsy driving

Advocacy groups and law enforcement have both spent decades raising awareness to the dangers of driving under the influence.  Everyone who drives a vehicle should understand that concept by now.  People who are arrested for DUI face severe consequences in every state.  That’s because driving while intoxicated is not only negligent, but reckless.  There are still too many people who make this terrible mistake, but the majority of us do the right thing.  Drowsy driving appears to be a serious problem as well.  Nearly all of us have been behind the wheel while we were dealing with fatigue.  We are used to doing a lot of things while we are tired.  As such, we tend to not think much about drowsy driving.  According to a recent study, perhaps we should.  That study concluded that drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving.

About the Drowsy Driving Study

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association, or GHSA, released the study.  A link to it can be found here.  The study, entitled, Wake Up Call!, reviews several different ways in which drowsy driving should be handled by the states.  In order to make that case, the study reveals a plethora of findings.  Identifying specific statistics is difficult, however, because the reporting on drowsy driving is incomplete and not uniform between jurisdictions.  The GHSA did state the following in its report:

  • Approximately 328,000 car accidents occur annually in the United States because of drowsy driving.
  • These 328,000 drowsy driving accidents result in 109,000 injuries.
  • 6,400 fatal car accidents occur in the United States as a result of drowsy driving.
  • Between 10 and 20 percent of large truck and bus crashes are attributable to drowsy driving.
  • 50 percent of drowsy driving car accidents involved drivers who were 25 years old or younger.

Perhaps what’s even more troubling is that the study equated different amounts of time without sleep to different BACs, or Blood Alcohol Contents.  These equivalencies included:

  • 18 hours without sleep while driving equates to a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent.
  • 21 hours without sleep while driving equates to a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent.
  • 24 hours without sleep while driving equates to a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent.

0.08 percent is the legal limit for alcohol in every state across the country.

Drowsy Driving and Car Accident Liability

The basic point of the study is that driving without enough sleep is dangerous.  In fact, the statistics reveal that it is just as dangerous as drinking and driving.  People who drive behind the wheel while tired take longer to react.  They also tend to exercise poor judgment more often than people who are rested.  These are the same problems associated with drinking and driving.  Clearly, anyone who drinks, drives and causes an accident will not only be arrested but they may also face the prospect of financial liability if they cause injuries or worse.

Drowsy drivers can face the same financial liability.  Seek the help of San Diego personal injury lawyers who have been standing up for the rights of those wrongfully harmed for several years if you have been injured by a drowsy driver.  Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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