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Is driving drowsy as bad as driving drunk?

Maybe you are driving back from work late at night, pushing through the last leg of a road trip or just heading home from a friend’s house with little to no sleep. No matter the situation, the reality is that you are driving while drowsy, and this may be as dangerous as driving drunk.

A driver who has been awake for 18 hours straight may have the same impairment as a driver who has a .05 blood alcohol level, when .08 is the legal limit in most states. If a driver has been awake for a full day, it is almost equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol level of .10. This highlights the fact that driving while drowsy may be as risky and unsafe as driving under the influence.

Less sleep, more risk of crashing

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who only sleep for five or six hours in a day-long period are 50 percent more likely to get in an accident than those who sleep for seven or more hours during the same period. The less sleep drivers get, the more likely they are to crash. Those who only get four or five hours of sleep at night have crash rates that resemble those of drunk drivers.

What are the consequences of driving drowsy?

Drivers often get behind the wheel even when they are tired for a few reasons. They may not realize how tired they are until they start driving, or they believe they can simply push through it. While driving drunk is absolutely off-limits, drowsy drivers often underestimate how dangerous it is to drive when tired.

Drowsy driving accidents can lead to fines and even jail time for drivers. Some cases end up in lawsuits for those who are injured or killed by the actions of a drowsy driver.

If you suffer the consequences of another’s poor choices

Every day accidents occur because drivers should be sleeping rather than driving. If you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and injured because of a drowsy driver, speak to an attorney about how to move forward with your case.

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