Drowsy Driving is as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

By Peter DePaolis

While many people may not realize it, driving while tired or “drowsy driving” can be very similar to drunk driving. Drowsy driving is responsible for many deaths every year, nearly 700 in 2019, but it is also one of the more preventable tragedies that can occur while driving. 

Being involved in an accident that was caused while you were drowsy driving can be life-changing. Not only can it result in injury and damages, but it can leave you civilly and potentially criminally liable for the resulting damages to others. If you were injured by a drowsy driver, you may be able to work with a Maryland car accident attorney to recover compensation for your damages. 

Is it That Serious?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were more than 90,000 vehicle crashes and nearly 800 deaths in 2017, making up nearly one-third of all fatalities. AAA estimates that an adjusted and corrected fatality count may point to drowsy driving being a contributing factor in more than 20% of all crashes that result in death. 

The Similarities Between Drowsy Driving & Drunk Driving

The effects of being sleep-deprived are very similar to being under the influence of alcohol. One of the primary detrimental effects of being drowsy or drunk is the lack of attention and ability to focus. 

Both drowsy and drunk drivers are more likely to have reduced decision-making abilities and critical thinking skills. There is also a very significant reduction in the reaction and response times of those that are suffering from lack of sleep as well as intoxicated drivers. 

The Best Ways to Prevent Drowsy Driving 

We all feel fatigued or overtired sometimes, but the key thing to remember is that once you get behind the wheel you put more than just yourself at risk. 

If you are feeling tired and you can postpone your drive at all, the best solution is to take a quick nap before setting out so that you can recharge a bit. The ideal situation is to get 7-8 uninterrupted hours of sleep each night, but that isn’t always possible. 

Another thing to be careful of is the potential effect that prescription medications can have on your energy level. Certain prescription medications can cause powerful drowsiness and may require the individual to take alternate transportation to remain safe.

If You Have Been Injured By a Drowsy Driver

If you have been the victim of a car accident in Maryland and suffered injuries, you may be able to file a claim to recover compensation for those injuries. By working with an experienced personal injury attorney, you may be able to recover not only your medical expenses, but lost wages, and many other costs that you may have incurred as a result of the accident. 

It is important to reach out today for a free consultation. In many cases, there are time limits involved, and the chances of successful recovery drop with each passing day. Get in touch with our office today.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.