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Drowsy driving: The new drunk driving

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Pretty much all New York drivers have been warned about the dangers of drinking and driving. However, another common culprit of motor vehicle accidents is drowsy driving. It’s important that every driver understand how being drowsy affects their driving abilities and increases their risk of being involved in an accident.

The truth about drowsy driving

In 2017 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 91,000 car accidents occurred due to drowsy drivers. With these crashes resulting in 795 deaths and 50,000 injuries, there’s no debating the fact that drowsy driving is extremely dangerous for everybody on the roadway. For those who are not familiar with the term drowsy driving, it’s simply defined as driving in an overly fatigued state.

How does drowsiness affect driving?

Drowsiness can affect a person’s ability to drive in many ways. Drowsy drivers have trouble maintaining an appropriate speed and proper distances between the vehicles in front of them. They tend to have longer reaction times and a decrease in good judgment. When drivers are extremely drowsy, they tend to exhibit some of the same dangerous behaviors as drunk drivers. These include weaving been back and forth between lanes, following too closely to other vehicles, and even driving off the roadway.

A look at blood alcohol concentrations

To show just how dangerous drowsy driving can be, researchers compared the effects of different states of drowsiness with that of different blood alcohol concentrations (BAC). Those who lacked sleep for 24 hours straight were determined to have a BAC of .01%. Those lacking just 18 hours of sleep showed a BAC impairment of .05%.

Drowsy driving is becoming the new drunk driving. With more accidents happening every year as a result of drowsy drivers, it’s important for everyone to understand the dangers that come along with drowsiness and driving. If you’ve been involved in an accident, and you believe it was caused by the other driver’s drowsiness, it’s important to seek the assistance of an attorney for help with your case.