Florida drivers understand that it is dangerous and illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol. However, many people don’t realize that drowsy driving is just as hazardous.
Drunk driving vs. drowsy driving
Experts say that both alcohol and sleep deprivation can make it difficult for drivers to pay attention to the road, make fast decisions and stay awake behind the wheel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were approximately 28,000 alcohol-related crashes across the United States in 2016. Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving causes around 100,000 traffic accidents on U.S. roads each year.
In 2000, researchers had people complete a series of spatial, reaction, memory, cognitive and perceptual tasks while experiencing various levels of intoxication and sleep deprivation. They found that both alcohol and sleep deprivation caused the participants to perform progressively worse on tasks. In fact, after 16 hours without sleep, participants performed at the same accuracy level as those with a .05% blood alcohol level. After 17 hours of sleep deprivation, participants performed at the same level as those with a .10% blood alcohol level. Another study by Stanford researchers found that people with sleep apnea-induced drowsiness performed worse on a series of tasks than people who had a blood-alcohol level of .057%.
Legal help for car crash victims
Victims of drunk driving or drowsy driving car accidents might find it beneficial to contact an attorney about their case. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the crash, it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the collision. If the suit is successful, the victim might be awarded compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and more. If a victim is killed in a crash, his or her family might be owed compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income and other crash-related damages.