Why drowsy driving can be so dangerous

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

A National Sleep Foundation survey found that around half of drivers in Louisiana and across the U.S. consistently drive drowsy. You may be wondering just how dangerous drowsy driving can be. The following statistics paint a startling picture.

Drowsy driving an underreported phenomenon

Every year, there are around 100,000 police-reported drowsy-driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that the number is closer to 328,000. Of these, 109,000 end in injuries and 6,400 in death. NHTSA says that society pays out $109 billion annually for those drowsy driving crashes that involve injury or death.

Drowsy driving is underreported because police can have trouble ascertaining if a driver was drowsy. The effects of drowsiness, though, are clear enough.

Drowsy driving means inattentive driving

Lack of sleep leads to inattention, poor judgment and slow reflexes. In extreme cases, it produces what are called microsleep episodes — four- or five-second bursts of involuntary inattention. A driver experiencing microsleep while traveling at highway speeds could effectively cover the length of a football field.

It’s no wonder that fatigue triples crash risk. Drowsy driving can even mimic drunk driving in its effects. Experts say that being awake for 20 consecutive hours is like having a 0.08 BAC, which is the legal limit in this state.

A lawyer for victims of a drowsy driver

Perhaps you were hit by a drowsy driver. Many victims of car accidents file third-party insurance claims in this state, and you can, too; although, it may be wise to consult a lawyer beforehand. During a case evaluation, the lawyer could apply Louisiana’s pure comparative negligence rule to your case and determine how much you might recover in damages. Afterward, legal counsel may assist in the negotiation process.