From everyday stress to overnight work shifts, there are no shortage of reasons why Americans often do not get enough sleep. Tossing and turning can take a serious toll, leaving you exhausted to face the day ahead. While this common problem may seem minor, driving while drowsy has, in fact, become a major concern.
One survey found that 60% of adults admit to driving drowsy in the past year – which comes as no huge surprise with one in three people reporting less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night. But more alarmingly, according to the AAA Foundation, 37% of those surveyed admitted to actually falling asleep behind the wheel. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported car accidents – resulting in 1,550 fatalities – are caused by sleep-deprived drivers each year.
Watch for Warning Signs
Here at West Law Firm, our car accident attorneys have seen the devastating impacts of auto wrecks. We would like to remind drivers that drowsy driving not only puts your life at risk, but the lives of those sharing the roadway. These warning signs indicate that you may not be fit to drive:
- Excessive yawning or blinking
- Missing your exit
- Difficulty maintaining the proper speed
- Drifting out of the lane
- Trouble recalling the last few miles driven
Drowsy vs. Drunk Driving
With many studies to back up the claim, it is now undeniable that driving drowsy is indeed just as risky as driving drunk. Research proves that sleep deprivation and drunkenness have similar impacts on driving ability, both causing the following:
- Slower reaction times
- Decreased ability to stay focused
- Inhibited decision-making
The most sobering statistic? Driving with 24 hours of sleep deprivation is the equivalent of driving with a BAC (blood alcohol level) of 0.1% – over the legal limit of 0.08%.
Trust Your Local Car Accident Attorneys
For legal advice after a Berkeley County car wreck, there’s only one team in town: West Law Firm. Our experienced car accident lawyers are equipped to handle cases like yours, seeking to recover the damages you deserve – such as compensation for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages and more.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, contact our Moncks Corner-based team today. To schedule your free consultation, call 843-761-5626 or click here.