Drunk driving is widely acknowledged as dangerous, irresponsible, and shameful. However, driving while fatigued can result in a lot of the same impairments as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Drowsy driving and drunk driving have some crossover, such as:
- Slow reaction times
- Poor decision-making skills
Many people are already aware of the effect alcohol has on driving skills, such as blurry vision, inaccurate depth perception, and the inability to judge speed. Drunk drivers are overly confident, resulting in impulsive and risky behaviors behind the wheel.
Meanwhile, fatigue mostly affects a driver’s ability to stay vigilant of other drivers and any potential dangers on the road and to respond appropriately. You never know what could happen on the road, so the impaired reflexes that come with drunk and fatigued driving can lead you to crash instead of making a last-minute move to avoid a traffic collision in Sherman Oaks.
Driving While Fatigued Statistics
Getting only 4 hours of sleep has been proven to have the same impact on driving skills as driving with a BAC of .08%, which is the legal limit in most states, including California. This comes as a surprise to some since many people get only 4 hours a night on a regular basis.
If you pulled an all-nighter the night before driving, you are just as dangerous as someone with a BAC of 0.1%.
Even mild sleep deprivation can cause serious impairments to driving skills. An estimated 40% of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep a night, and this actually doubles your risk of being involved in a traffic collision.
These statistics probably come as a shock since the dangers of drowsy driving were not realized until recently. A 2013 study by Virginia Tech Transportation found that drowsiness accounts for 20% of car crashes.
Know When It’s Time to Stop and Rest
While the only thing that can stop someone from being drunk is to wait before driving, stopping and resting is the best way to prevent fatigued driving accidents. If you are driving and feel tired, make sure to keep an eye out for signs that you may need to pull over and take a nap. Signs you may be too tired to drive safely include:
- Heavy or drooping eyelids
- Frequent yawning
- Daydreaming and difficulty keeping focus
- Poor recall of the last few miles
- Drifting back and forth between lanes
- Missing signs or exits
- Drooping head
If you have been involved in an accident while driving fatigued or with a driver that was driving fatigued, you should contact a car accident lawyer in Sherman Oaks. A personal injury attorney for car wrecks in Sherman Oaks can review your case and ensure that you receive a fair trial.