Did You Know Drowsy Driving is Just as Detrimental as Distracted Driving?
In the last few years, there has been a lot of attention given to distracted driving, with a significant amount of that attention focused on texting while driving. In the ’80s, activists seeking safer roads focused most of their attention on raising awareness about drinking and driving. Both drinking and driving and texting and driving are significant concerns and still pose a danger today. However, experts are now calling attention to research and data that suggests drivers need to beware of another significant cause for concern: driving while sleepy or over-tired.
According to a recently released report from The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), driving when sleep-deprived is a serious danger. The GHSA was alarmed by the data they collected during their research. They were so alarmed that their research on the topic changed the definition of “impaired driving.” Previously, impaired driving referred to driving drunk, drugged, or distracted. The definition of impaired driving now includes driving while fatigued or drowsy driving.
Do We Really Need to Care About Drowsy Driving?
Did you know that every day close to 83.6 million Americans drive while sleep-deprived? Additionally, 5,000 people died in car accidents connected to sleepy drivers during the last year. Driving tired keeps you from being at your best. Drowsy drivers can’t give their best visual or mental attention to the task at hand. Sometimes driving drowsy can also lead to “microsleep events” that can be extremely dangerous. Microsleep events are short sleep episodes lasting from a fraction of a second up to 30 seconds.
Why Is Drowsy Driving So Dangerous?
Some say drowsy driving is the most dangerous of all “dangers” on the road. For example, you can avoid the dangers of texting and driving by putting your phone down. It’s simple. But it’s harder to avoid the risks of drowsy driving if you aren’t getting enough sleep. In some cases, driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Sleep experts say drowsy driving is just as lethal as drunk driving, and it needs to receive more attention.
What Else Do Drivers Need to Know About Drowsy Driving?
- Three hundred twenty-eight thousand car accidents occur on average each year due to drowsy driving.
- Every year approximately 109,000 people are injured in a sleep-deprived car accident.
- An astounding $109 billion is spent each year in connection to sleep-deprived car accidents (excluding property damage).
- Driving after going without sleep for 24 hours is the equivalent of driving with a .10 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
How Do Auto Insurance Carriers Respond to Drowsy Driving?
In addition to making getting behind the wheel of a car dangerous, not getting enough sleep can be a financial risk because driving while tired increases your chances of paying more for car insurance. If a driver falls asleep at the wheel and causes an accident, their insurance company will charge them higher rates.
If you were involved in a car accident and suspect drowsy driving or if you have an injury due to a Texas car accident, please get in touch with the Carrollton personal injury law offices of Hudson Law. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.