Sleep has become a public health problem in America. Fueled by a number of factors, including constant access to electronic devices, hectic schedules, and a variety of health problems, sleep deprivation has even caught the attention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health advocacy organizations. Even the media has taken notice of the rising number of motor vehicle accidents caused by drowsy driving. This means that every driver – particularly victims in auto accidents – should know what to do if they suspect that drowsy driving may have been a factor in their accident.
Why is Being Tired So Dangerous?
Missing out on an hour or two of sleep each night may not seem like a big deal at first glance. However, long-term and/or consistent sleep deprivation can have devastating effects on the human body. It can increase the risk of certain health complications, such as diabetes and heart disease. It can also lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, which can cause someone to fall asleep in class, at work, while in the bathroom, or – in the worst of situations – behind the wheel.
A driver does not have to fall asleep for daytime sleepiness to be a problem. According to experts, sleep deprivation about the same effect on the body’s reflexes, awareness, and response time as drunk driving. In fact, studies have indicated that staying awake for 18 hours can result in driving motions similar to that of a driver with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.05. Staying awake for 24 hours and driving is like driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.10. Legally drunk is 0.08.
How Big is the Problem?
According to statistics from the CDC, as many as 7.2 percent of drivers between the ages of 25 and 35 admit to having nodded off or fallen asleep behind the wheel in the past month. As many as 35 to 40 percent of drivers in all age groups (18 to 65 and older) admit to having unintentionally fallen asleep during the day at least once in the past month. Though the latter group may or may not have been driving at the time, the idea that they could have been is what makes the numbers so scary.
Suspect Drowsy Driving as a Factor in Your Accident?
Like those who get behind the wheel of a car while drunk, those who drive drowsy and then cause an accident are considered negligent drivers. This gives victims the right to seek full compensation for their injuries. Of course, proving such negligence is not an easy task. For this reason, victims who suspect that drowsy driving may have been a factor in their accident should seek assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney.
At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we have the knowledge and resources to fully and effectively examine your case. Dedicated to your best interest, we work hard to find the evidence that backs up your claim, and we will fight for the most compensation possible. Contact our Green Bay, Wisconsin auto accident attorneys to learn more. Call us at 920-739-7366 today.