Posted on: December 3, 2013
If you are too tired to drive, stay off the road. Drowsy driving is a much more significant safety risk than most people realize, and it’s a major contributor to fatal car accidents in South Carolina.
How bad is it, really?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy drivers are responsible for 1,550 deaths and more than 71,000 injuries a year.
That’s a terrifying statistic when combined with the fact that 55 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle within the past year.
NHTSA also reported that 16.5 percent of all fatal car accidents in the United States can be attributed to drowsy drivers.
Sleep deprived or drowsy drivers are prone to episodes of microsleep, which is defined as brief 4-6-second periods of sleep when the driver is not officially conscious. That’s more than enough time to travel the length of a football field at just 55 miles per hour. A lot can happen on the road in that time.
Driving drowsy is like driving drunk!
Driving tired can be almost as bad as driving drunk. Several clinical studies have found that the symptoms of sleepiness are similar in many ways to the symptoms of intoxication when they sit in the driver’s seat.
Side effects of sleepiness include:
- Slow reaction time
- Decreased awareness
- Impaired judgment
- Vision impairment
- Dulled senses
Know when you are approaching the danger zone.
If you have received less than seven hours of sleep, you’re more likely to be driving drowsy. If you take medications that make you drowsy, have been awake a long time, or have been driving for a long period down a monotonous highway, your risk of drowsiness-related car accidents increases.
Avoid putting others at risk and stay off the road if you’re tired. Give yourself frequent breaks and carpool if you are working a long shift or overnight shift.
We can help if you’ve been injured by a drowsy driver.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a South Carolina car crash involving a suspected drowsy driver, contact the experienced South Carolina car accident legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers . We can help you understand the value of your case and will offer a free case evaluation to help you better understand your rights and options.