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Drowsy driving is a form of impaired driving that is more common than many people might realize. Fatigue reduces a driver’s ability to react quickly enough when driving, lowers awareness of potential hazards on the road and reduces attention, and the drowsier he is, the greater the fatigue factor.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), you are three times more likely to be in a car accident if you are fatigued, and driving for more than 20 hours without sleep is the equivalent of a blood alcohol level of 0.08, the legal limit for intoxication.
Although there are approximately 100,000 reported accidents annually that involve drowsy driving, a recent study estimated that this number may be as high as 328,000. Of those, 6,400 were fatal accidents. And drowsy drivers under the age of 25 make up an estimated 50% or more of these accidents.
Signs of drowsy driving
There are telltale signs that you are driving while fatigued:
- Frequent yawning, difficulty keeping eyes open
- Nodding off, or having trouble keeping head up
- Missing road signs or turns
- Drifting out of a lane or inability to maintain steady speed
If you are driving drowsy or are with someone who is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s best to pull over, go for a walk and even take a nap. Check warning labels of medications to see if they can cause drowsy side effects before getting behind the wheel.
Were you injured in a drowsy driving accident?
If you have been injured in an accident involving distracted driving of another driver, it is important to find a seasoned personal injury attorney who will help you to get the maximum compensation for medical treatment and accident-related expenses.