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Drowsy driving is probably as bad as drunk driving

You may be asking how someone driving after not getting a good night's sleep could be as dangerous and culpable as someone who gets behind the wheel drunk, and you wouldn't be alone. Most people don't get the amount of sleep they should, but they still have to go about their lives. They can't do anything about it. Right?

When someone drinks alcohol and decides to drive, they knowingly put people's lives in jeopardy. Sleep-deprived people don't do that. Do they? When it comes down to it, they do.

What do drowsy driving and drunk driving have in common?

Did you know that not sleeping for at least 24 hours has the same effect on your body as having a blood alcohol content of .10? The legal limit here in Florida is .08. That means that, if you don't sleep for 24 hours, your body feels as though it is more drunk than the legal limit allows. At that BAC, drivers exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Impaired memory
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Diminished ability to process information

Every year, thousands of accidents across the country involve a drunk driver. Researchers suspect that even thousands more accidents involve a drowsy driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Researchers estimate that approximately one out of every four drivers did so without adequate sleep. 

Drunk driving and drowsy driving both put people's lives in danger. In fact, in either case, your risk of causing an accident doubles. The problem lies in the fact that police can't test an individual to determine whether he or she was driving drowsy as they can for driving drunk. Even so, the result of a crash involving either driver could involve serious injuries or death, especially if the drowsy driver actually fell asleep behind the wheel.

Did a drowsy driver run into you?

You probably share the road with drowsy drivers every day. In fact, you may be one of them on occasion. However, that doesn't excuse a driver from causing an accident after getting behind the wheel drowsy. If you suffered injuries, you may find yourself in a precarious position financially due to missed work and medical bills. Illustrating negligence on the part of the other driver could include providing evidence that he or she was sleep-deprived at the time of the accident. Successfully doing so could result in an award of damages to help with your financial losses.

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