Is Drowsy Driving More Dangerous Than Drunk Driving?

Man in his car behind the steering wheel covering his mouth while yawning.

How Fatigue Affects Your Driving

We’ve all driven while tired at one time or another. Not only can driving while fatigued make us less alert and unresponsive, but it can also lead to falling asleep at the wheel. Studies have shown that driving while drowsy or tired is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Here are some things every driver needs to know to avoid a severe car accident.

What Causes Drowsy Driving?

There are many reasons why people feel tired, fatigued, or exhausted when driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following groups are more likely to drive while drowsy:

  • Drivers who do not get enough sleep
  • Commercial drivers
  • Shift workers (working long shifts or night hours)
  • Drivers who have an untreated sleep order, such as sleep apnea
  • Drivers who take medications that cause drowsiness

Why Drowsy Driving is as Dangerous and Drunk Driving

Not getting enough sleep is one of the leading reasons why people drive while drowsy. The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults 18 to 64 years old get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and adults over 65 should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep to avoid sleep deprivation. Individuals who are sleep deprived may be susceptible to the following effects, which can lead to a drowsy driving accident:

  • Lack of attention
  • Reduced cognitive function
  • Delayed reactions
  • Mood swings

Driving while drowsy is like driving while intoxicated. The CDC reports the following statistics:

  • Being awake for 18 hours or more is the same as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.05%.
  • Being awake for at least 24 hours is the same as having a BAC level of 0.10%.

The legal BAC limit is 0.08% in the U.S., except for Utah, with the lowest BAC limit of 0.05.%

Injured in a Car Accident? Meyerkord & Kurth is Here For You.

When a car crash causes you to sustain severe injuries, the consequences can mean severe injuries and mounting medical bills. When you need to focus on healing from your injuries, dealing with the insurance companies can put added strains on you and your family. Let Meyerkord & Kurth be in your corner and fight for your right to receive the compensation you deserve when harmed by a negligent driver.

For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Meyerkord & Kurth today.

CDC: Drowsy Driving: Asleep at the Wheel
CDC: Drowsy Driving
Sleep Foundation: Why Do We Need Sleep?

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