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Road trips and the dangers associated with drowsy driving

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

While summer plans may have changed for many resident in Louisiana, the one thing that has remained constant for individuals across the nation is road trips. Whether it is a long weekend trip across the state or a two-week long excursion across the country, traveling with a carload of people and food is experienced each summer. While it is a way to see more of the nation and enjoy the outdoors, it is also a factor that causes for more drivers driving long distances and not getting enough sleep before getting behind the wheel.

What’s the deal with drowsy driving?

Like any human, sleep is needed. While each and every person does not require the same amount of sleep, every needs an adequate amount of quality sleep. This could mean nine hours for some, but for others, this could be five hours. Regardless of the amount of sleep needed to no longer be drowsy, the concerning reality is that far too many motorists get behind the wheel of a vehicle when they are drowsy or fail to stop driving with fatigue begins to set in.

The dangers of drowsy driving

The dangers associated with drowsy driving have been compared to driving while intoxicated. In fact, scientist have established that when an individual gets behind the wheel of a vehicle after being awake for 16 or 17 hours straight is equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of 0.05. The comparable state is raised to 0.08, which is the legal limit, when a person passes 18 hours without sleep.

While it is true that the signs of fatigue are more difficult to detect than those associated with inebriation from alcohol, one thing that both fatigued drivers and intoxicated drivers will do is overestimate their capabilities. In other words, they believe that they are able to operate a motor vehicle safely despite being over the legal limit or sleep deprived.

Drowsy driving causing accidents

While it is not easy to discern whether a driver is drowsy like it is for a drunk driver, as there is no test to verify this, drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Thus, following a car accident, victims need to consider this as a possible cause of a crash. When establishing the cause of a crash, it may be possible to hold a negligent driver accountable for the accident. Through a personal injury action, a drowsy driver could be held liable while also helping a victim recover compensation for losses suffered.