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The danger of drowsy driving, and who’s at a high risk for it

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2020 | car accidents

If you were seriously injured at the hands of a drowsy driver in Indiana, then you may have a strong personal injury case. First, it helps to understand just why drowsiness and driving never go well together.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there are an average of 328,000 car crashes involving drowsy driving every year, 109,000 of which result in injury and 6,400 of which are fatal. This is 350% greater than official statistics because not every drowsy driving crash is reported as such.

Drowsiness triples car crash risk

Drivers are three times more likely to crash when they are fatigued because the state they’re in keeps them from paying attention to the road as closely as they should. The fatigue will also cause them to make poor judgments and react slowly to dangers. If they’re deprived of sleep for too long, drivers start to act drunk. Being awake for 20 straight hours is like having a .08 blood alcohol concentration.

Sleep-deprived drivers may black out for four or five seconds at a time during what’s called microsleep. During one of these bursts of inattention, drivers going at highway speed can virtually travel the length of a football field without knowing it.

Young drivers at a particularly high risk

Drivers under 25 compose 50% or more of the initiators in drowsy driving crashes. University students, in particular, are estimated to get less than six hours of sleep a night (adults should get at least seven hours). Men are likelier to be in drowsy driving crashes than women. As for what can prevent these crashes, safety advocates suggest adequate sleep, better education and the installation of lane departure warning and drowsiness alert systems on newer vehicles.

A lawyer who may go to trial for you

If want to be compensated for your medical expenses, your lost wages and the pain and suffering you underwent, it may be wise to hire a lawyer who understands motor vehicle collision cases. Rather than settle for less than you deserve, your lawyer may litigate on your behalf.