We live and work in a world where many people rely on coffee and energy drinks to help get themselves through the daily grind. Sometimes, with stress, work, and family obligations, it’s not easy to find time to sleep. Then, there are times where the Arizona heat can drain every ounce of energy out of you and no amount of air conditioning can perk you back up. And still, despite all these issues, many people drive themselves to and from places with a very real sense of fatigue. Some of them may not realize, though, that they’re doing something as dangerous as driving drunk.
It might sound like hyperbole or a catchy phrase meant to alarm someone, but drowsiness can indeed affect a person’s ability to drive to the same degree as having a blood alcohol content level of 0.08%. Falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle is tremendously dangerous. Even if you doze off for a second, you could find yourself off-road, in another lane, making contact with another vehicle, or in the path of an oncoming one. Even if your eyes don’t close, drowsiness can affect your ability to react to sudden stimuli, potentially resulting in an accident that you could’ve avoided if well-rested. By the same token, a well-rested driver can be hit by a drowsy motorist, potentially damaging their car or themselves. Should that happen to you, seek the services of an auto accident attorney.
More prevalent than you might think. About 70 million Americans are sleep deprived or have a sleep-related disorder like sleep apnea. Because of this, it’s estimated that one in eight auto accidents, serious enough to result in hospitalization, are caused by drowsy driving. Unfortunately, due to the nature of these accidents, especially fatal ones, it’s not always easy to tell if the cause of a crash was due to a driver being drowsy; the real number may be even higher than this. It has been found, though, that over half of these kinds of crashes occur with drivers ages 25 and younger. Regardless of age, a drowsy driver is an unpredictable one. If you’re involved in a crash with a motorist that was impaired in this way, you’d want to contact an experienced auto accident lawyer as soon as possible.
The simple advice of “get more sleep” may be accurate, but it’s not always feasible. Nevertheless, it’s still the best thing you can try to do. Also, if you do get enough sleep and still feel tired, you may want to have a sleep study performed to see if you suffer from sleep apnea. Other conditions and symptoms, such as low blood sugar, depression, and side-effects from medication, can cause drowsiness. Additionally, some people make the mistake of thinking that coffee or energy drinks can keep them awake enough to drive when, if anything, they’re just a very short-term solution and may only provide a brief reprieve from tiredness.
A drowsy driver is more likely to miss a turn, veer off to the side, or lose control of their vehicle in another way that puts you at risk. If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by the actions of a driver whose fatigue should have kept them from being behind the wheel, call ELG Law at 623-321-0566. One of our team of experienced attorneys will give you a free consultation to see if we can help you recover some of your financial losses. A drowsy driver can take your safety out of your hands, but ELG Law can take your case into ours.