American Indian Owned Law Firm

Why fatigued driving is so dangerous

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Personal Injury

Folks in the United States are constantly tired. Stress, busy lifestyles and other issues have millions of people struggling to get enough sleep – and that’s leading to an epidemic of drowsy driving. 

It’s estimated that more than 6,400 people are killed in drowsy driving accidents annually, and thousands upon thousands are injured. That puts drowsy driving right up there with drunk driving as a major roadway hazard – only drowsy driving may be the more insidious problem. Here’s why:

A lot of drowsy drivers normalize the behavior

Far too many drivers yawn their way through their morning commute, struggling to stay awake long enough to pull through their favorite coffee joint and get some caffeine in their systems. Everybody knows that drunk driving is bad, but most people just think of drowsy driving as an inevitable part of their day. In fact, evidence indicates that about 20% of drivers actually think that they’re perfectly safe behind the wheel on only two hours of sleep – and they’re not.

Many drowsy drivers don’t even realize they’re sleeping

With enough sleep deprivation, a driver can actually fall into “microsleeps.” These are seconds where the driver actually falls asleep behind the wheel. It’s dangerous enough to think that could happen at a traffic light, but microsleeps can occur even when a driver is moving 65 mph down a highway. To outside observers, microsleeps may look like very long blinks – and the sleeping driver may have no idea they’re even happening.

If you end up in a car accident with a drowsy driver, you could be facing significant short-term and long-term losses related to your recovery. Experienced legal guidance can help you learn more about your options for fair compensation.