Fatigued And Tired Drivers Are A Serious Auto Accident Risk

Because many families need to work longer hours, sleep deprived drivers have become a significant source of severe car crashes. Sleepy drivers may lack concentration or attention, resulting in slowed reflexes, impaired decision-making and falling asleep while traveling the streets and highways of Kentucky. Most people never consider sleepy drivers as one of the most significant dangers to motorists, passengers and pedestrians, but this is based on the false assumption that drivers rarely operate a motor vehicle when they are too tired.

Based on a study by the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 168 million people (60 percent of all drivers) admit driving while drowsy, and a third of all drivers admit to actually dozing off when driving. The survey also revealed that almost 15 percent of those in the study admitted to falling asleep while driving during the last month.

Drowsy drivers exhibit driving skills similar to legally intoxicated motorist

Although most people know that driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is an exceptionally risky practice, many people do not realize that drivers who are fighting sleepiness may have similarly impaired driving skills. A study conducted by researchers found a close comparison between the effects of sleep deprivation and alcohol impairment. The study revealed the following relationships:

  • 18 hours of sleep deprivation =.05 percent BAC
  • 24 hours of sleep deprivation=.10 percent BAC

The legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol is a BAC of .08 percent so a driver who has been deprived of sleep for 24 hours will exhibit the same impaired driving abilities of a seriously alcohol impaired driver. Sleep deprivation like alcohol impairment may affect drivers in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Slower response time for braking and evasive maneuvers
  • Diminished perception
  • Distorted judgment

• Impaired coordination and reflexes

The damage inflicted by sleep-impaired drivers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that 100,000 collisions involving sleepy drivers occur annually based on law enforcement statistics. These collisions cause 40,000 injuries and over 1,500 fatalities. These numbers are extremely conservative because there is no "breathalyzer test" that can be employed to expose fatigued drivers. The dedicated Kentucky accident attorneys at Goeing and Goeing, PLLC are staunch advocates for those injured in Kentucky auto accidents. If you or a family member suffers a severe injury or a loved one dies, please contact us or visit our website at www.kylawpractice.com to schedule your free consultation.

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