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Fatigued driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2021 | Car Accidents |

More Minnesota drivers are reporting falling asleep behind the wheel when driving than ever before. Referred to as drowsy or fatigued driving, driving with a lack of sleep has been shown to be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Understanding the dangers of drowsy driving can help one to determined just why they should avoid doing it in the future.

What do the statistics say?

Researchers have found that fatigued drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accidents than a well-rested driver. One study performed on a group of U.S. adult drivers found that 40% of adults admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in their driving careers. A whopping 20% admitted that they had fallen asleep behind the wheel within the last month. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 5,000 people died in 2015 as a result of fatigued driving.

Why is it so dangerous?

As long as the driver doesn’t fall asleep behind the wheel, you may be wondering just why drowsy driving is dangerous. The reality is that drowsy drivers show signs of impairment similar to those who are intoxicated. Drowsy drivers experience decreased reaction times, poor judgment and find it more difficult to sustain a safe speed. These various impairments and driving abilities can easily result in a motor vehicle accident. In fact, researchers have concluded that a drowsy driver lacking 20 hours of sleep has an impairment level similar to a driver with a BAC of .08%. That means that a person lacking 20 hours of sleep is just as impaired as someone who is over the legal limit.

Fatigued driving is becoming the new drunk driving. With more and more people lacking sleep because of their busy lifestyles, they put themselves and everybody else at risk for motor vehicle accidents. If you’ve recently been involved in an accident and believe the other driver was drowsy at the time, it’s important to seek the assistance of a lawyer to prove your case.