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Drowsy driving: As dangerous as drunk driving

Drivers have to be in a condition to safely operate their vehicles. When they aren’t others on the roadways are in danger.

When you’re thinking of unsafe driving behaviors, driving drunk might come to mind. Many people don’t realize that driving fatigued is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Even if a driver only nods off for a few seconds, the results can be catastrophic.

How dangerous is a sleep-deprived driver?

Sleep deprivation of 24 hours has the same effects on a person as a blood alcohol concentration of .10%. The legal limit for drunk driving is .08%, so that should give you an idea of how unsafe it is to drive while fatigued.

Even microsleeps of five seconds can have catastrophic results. Drivers who are going 55 miles per hour go the full length of a football field in that time. A lot of crashes can occur during that time.

What causes drowsy driving?

Drowsy driving doesn’t automatically stem from lack of sleep. Medications, long work hours, abnormal shifts and sleep disorders can all lead to a person being too fatigued to drive. People who drive long distances, such as truckers, are also at risk of fatigued driving.

Anyone who suffers an injury at the hands of a fatigued driver should ensure they get the medical care they need for injuries. The costs of medical care and other expenses related to the wreck can be costly. Seeking compensation for damages is possible, but you only have a limited time due to the statute of limitations in Virginia law.


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