By now, most people are fully aware of the fact that drunk driving kills. State and federal agencies have been on a long, successful campaign to raise awareness of drunk driving dangers and it’s easy to see that most people are on board with the fact that not only is drunk driving dangerous, but it is also very easy to avoid.
Drowsy driving, though, does not carry the same stigma with drivers. Drunk driving sounds irresponsible and dangerous, while drowsy driving sounds…sleepy and benign. After all, who comes to work first thing in the morning feeling fully awake and ready to tackle the world? Who hasn’t driven for hours on end, operating purely on autopilot and caffeine? Perhaps the reason drowsy driving hasn’t earned the same cautious deference is because so many people can admit to driving drowsy without negative results.
Drowsy Driving Eerily Similar to Drunk Driving
If you’ve ever been tired—really, achingly tired—you know how similar it can feel to being drunk. You react more slowly than you usually do, you are unaware of your surroundings, and your judgment is clouded by exhaustion. You may feel clumsier than usual, and your focus is terrible, centered solely on your need for sleep.
When you get behind the wheel after being awake for long periods of time, it is very similar to getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks—except being tired behind the wheel is perfectly legal in all but one state. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that, unlike drunk driving, there is no blood, breath, or urine test to determine someone’s fatigue level.
How to Protect Yourself From Dangerous Drowsy Drivers
While it is easy enough to insist that all drivers get plenty of sleep, it is impossible to mandate or monitor. You can protect yourself from drowsy drivers by being aware, and knowing these important facts about drowsy driving:
- Most accidents involving fatigue occur very late at night, very early in the morning, or in the midafternoon.
- Most fatigue-related accidents occur on highways.
- Watch for vehicles drifting out of lanes, leaving the roadway, and jerking back onto the road.
- Be on the lookout for cars that seem to be steering or braking strangely.
If you have been hurt by a driver you suspect was suffering from extreme fatigue, he or she is still responsible for your damages. Contact Augusta injury attorney Chris Hudson by phone or by filling out an online contact form to discuss your case today in a free consultation.