Drivers protect themselves and others when paying strict attention to safety. Following traffic rules, keeping a vehicle in good shape, and avoiding distractions help the cause. Unfortunately, many drivers commute while feeling drowsy. While not a criminal offense in Ohio like drunk driving, drowsy driving could impair someone just as much as driving while intoxicated.
Drowsy driving mimics intoxicated driving
Not getting enough rest or suffering through poor quality sleep might cause troubles for a driver. Persons who drive for extended hours may suffer from effects similar to intoxication. 20 hours without sleep could mimic an .08 blood alcohol content, the legal limit for DUIs.
Granted, the average person gets more than four hours of sleep per day. Regardless, people may feel drowsy from overwork, taking over-the-counter medication, dealing with stress, and other factors. It doesn’t matter why someone feels drowsy; the results might be the same. Fatigue may contribute to an accident.
Fatigued driving and its dangers
Several reasons exist why fatigued driving increases dangers. Drowsy driving adds challenges to response times when a hazard appears on the road. Someone too tired to notice an accident ahead might not move out of the way in time, causing an even worse crash. The combination of slowed reactions and weakened perceptions could make a drowsy driver a dangerous one.
Someone who deliberately drives while fatigued may face a negligence suit if anything goes wrong. Federal and state rules require truck drivers to take mandatory breaks, and those in violation could be liable for accidents. No such regulation exists for non-commercial drivers, but that doesn’t mean they’ll escape negligence claims after a collision.
Drowsy drivers responsible for an accident could find themselves served with a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney might advise car accident victims about how to seek compensation.