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Drowsy driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving

Drowsy driving is a common problem in Louisiana and across the country. Statistics show that 60 percent of American adults have driven while sleepy at some point in their lives. Worse, approximately one-third of drivers have actually fallen asleep while behind the wheel.

Many people believe that drowsy driving isn't that dangerous. However, studies have shown that driving while sleepy can be just as hazardous as drunk driving. For example, people who have been awake for 18 consecutive hours drive as though they have a blood alcohol content level of .05. Meanwhile, those who get behind the wheel after staying awake for 24 consecutive hours drive as though their blood alcohol content level is .10. The legal alcohol limit is .08.

Like drunk driving, drowsy driving can reduce a person's ability to focus on the road. It can also impair a driver's ability to make good decisions. However, the results of drowsy driving can sometimes be even worse than those of drunk driving. This is because drunk drivers may at least attempt to mitigate their impairment by driving slowly or braking to avoid a collision, while drowsy drivers could simply fall asleep and smash into a pedestrian, vehicle or object at full speed. Traffic safety experts encourage drivers who feel sleepy to pull over and take a nap. Caffeinated beverages may also help.

Drowsy driving car accidents can result in severe injuries that require extensive medical care. Victims of such crashes may wish to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in court. With the help of an attorney, it may be possible to hold the drowsy driver legally accountable and obtain a settlement or jury award that covers medical expenses and other losses.

Source: National Sleep Foundation, "DROWSY DRIVING VS. DRUNK DRIVING: HOW SIMILAR ARE THEY?", May 29, 2018

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