Drowsy driving is impaired driving. November 7th – 13th is set aside to remind drivers of just that. Drowsy drivers cause an estimated 100,000 police-reported motor vehicle accidents every year. Annually, approximately 50,000 of these accidents result in injuries. And around 800 more result in fatal injury.
Drowsy driving is like driving drunk. Studies have found that people experiencing even minor sleep deprivation are two times more likely to cause an accident. This is because, like drivers who are drunk or high, drowsy drivers experience delayed reaction time, impaired judgment, slower reflexes, and reduced mental processing.
When someone who is sleep-deprived harms you or someone you love, you have every right to hold them accountable and to seek compensation for your damages.
When are You Too Drowsy to Drive?
The only way to prevent causing an accident while you’re sleepy is not driving while you’re tired. There are no exceptions. No one is better than anyone else at driving while drowsy. All drowsy drivers are a threat.
How much sleep you need is, however, slightly more complex. Studies have found that, depending on factors such as age, activity level, lifestyle, and diet, you may need anywhere from six to 11 hours of sleep every night. As a basic rule, if you frequently feel tired, you aren’t getting enough sleep.
Like intoxication (if you’re feeling buzzed, now is not the time to get behind the wheel,) self-assessment is essential. If you feel tired, don’t drive.
You know if you feel sleepy. In that case, deciding not to drive is pretty straightforward. If you’re not sure, however, consider these things:
- Are you driving erratically?
- Do you remember the last few miles?
- Are your eyes shutting on their own?
- Do your eyes burn?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these, you may want to avoid driving. This can help to keep you and everyone else on the road safe.
Driving while alert can help prevent you from causing an accident. However, it may not be enough to allow you to react in time to an accident caused by someone else. Talking to one of our lawyers is an excellent way to learn about your options when a drowsy driver injures you.
Have you been injured? Call Shaw Cowart at 512-499-8900 to schedule a free consultation at our San Antonio or Austin office today.