Drowsy driving is as serious as drunk driving

Drowsy drivers are estimated to cause thousands of accidents throughout the country each year.

Many Connecticut residents live busy lives and make sleep a low priority. This might not seem like a big deal, but sleep deprivation can be particularly dangerous for those who drive. People who drive drowsy not only put their own lives in danger, but the safety of others sharing the road with them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there are about 7,500 fatal motor vehicle crashes throughout the United States each year as a result of drowsy driving. Negligent drivers who don't get enough sleep may think they are safe to drive for a few minutes, but even short distances can be hazardous for those whose judgment and reactions are impaired by being sleepy.

Drowsy driving facts

According to the National Sleep Foundation, one out of 10 licensed drivers admitted to having fallen asleep while driving over the past 12 months. Those who drive drowsy can fall into a "micro-sleep" of three to four seconds without even knowing they have fallen asleep.

Younger drivers are more likely than others to drive sleep-impaired, with one in seven admitting to nodding off behind the wheel. Other people who may be likely to drive on little sleep include:

  • Commercial truck drivers
  • People who work long shifts or night shifts
  • Those with untreated sleep disorders
  • People who use medications that can cause drowsiness
  • Drivers who routinely do not get enough sleep

Most people might not associate drowsy driving with drunk driving. However, driving after being awake for longer than 20 hours is about the same as driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent, the legal drunk driving limit. It's estimated that one out of every six car crashes in the country involve a sleepy driver.

Connecticut man charged in drowsy driving accident that kills woman

Last October, a 32-year-old man reportedly fell asleep behind the wheel in Stamford and struck a couple who were filling up their car. According to News 8, the man crossed a double-yellow line and struck the husband and wife at a gas station. The woman was seriously injured and died in the hospital later that day. Authorities charged the sleepy driver with misconduct with a motor vehicle.

Contacting an attorney

No matter how careful of a driver you are, it's impossible to predict the actions of other drivers, especially if they are driving while drowsy or impaired. If you were injured in an accident caused by a sleepy driver, you may be eligible for the compensation of your medical expenses. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options.

Keywords: drowsy, distracted, driving, accident