Getting behind the wheel while fatigued is an all-too-common occurrence. The consequences of drowsy driving, however, can be just as severe as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Drowsy driving occurs when an individual operates a vehicle while feeling fatigued or sleepy. The effects of drowsiness on driving performance can be alarming. Just like alcohol impairs cognitive and motor skills, sleep deprivation can lead to a range of impairments, including:
- Reduced reaction time: Lack of sleep can significantly slow down reaction times, making it difficult for drivers to respond quickly to unexpected situations on the road.
- Impaired decision-making: Fatigue can impair judgment and decision-making abilities, leading to poor choices behind the wheel.
- Decreased alertness: Drowsy drivers may experience lapses in attention and struggle to stay alert, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Microsleep: In extreme cases, drivers may experience brief episodes of microsleep, during which they lose consciousness for a few seconds without realizing it. This can be particularly dangerous when operating a vehicle.
Drowsy driving vs. drunk driving
While the impairment caused by drowsy driving and drunk driving may stem from different sources, the consequences are remarkably similar. Studies have shown that being awake for 18 hours straight can produce impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 percent, and being awake for 24 hours is comparable to a BAC of 0.10 percent, which is higher than the legal limit in many jurisdictions.
Both drowsy driving and drunk driving contribute to an increased risk of accidents, injuries and fatalities on the road. Recognizing the parallels between these two dangerous behaviors is crucial for understanding the potential legal implications for those who have suffered harm due to another driver’s negligence.
Legal consequences of drowsy driving
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, it’s important to understand your legal rights. Negligence on the part of a fatigued driver can be grounds for a personal injury claim. Proving liability in such cases may involve demonstrating that the driver was indeed drowsy, perhaps through eyewitness accounts, surveillance footage or the driver’s own admission.
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can guide you through the legal process, helping you pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages resulting from the accident.
Consult a Columbus personal injury lawyer today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your drowsy driving accident claim. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.