Falling asleep behind the wheel is a growing problem

Drivers in Maryland and across the country are perpetuating a hazardous behavior that results in an increasing number of motor vehicle accidents. This behavior is referred to as drowsy or fatigued driving. Unfortunately, many drivers are culpable of it at one time or another.

A growing trend

A recent study revealed that 40% of adult U.S. drivers have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point throughout their driving career. A scarier statistic is that 20% of the people surveyed admitted to falling asleep while driving within the past year. Being on the roadway when another driver is asleep behind the wheel can be a recipe for disaster.

How drowsiness affects your driving abilities

Many drowsy drivers will notice a severe impairment in their driving abilities. These include weaving back and forth between lanes, tailgating other vehicles and even driving off the roadway. These negative behaviors are resulting in car accidents ranging from minor to fatal.

One fact that surprises most people is that extreme drowsiness can impair a person’s ability to drive as much as being intoxicated behind the wheel. Both drunk and fatigued drivers experience a decrease in their attention, longer reaction times and poor judgment. One study revealed that drivers who were up for 24 straight hours showed an impairment level similar to a drunk driver with a BAC of 0.10. Those who were lacking sleep for just 18 hours showed a comparable impairment level to a person with a BAC of 0.05.

Drowsy driving is a trending problem that continues to get worse as the years go by. To help to reduce the number of accidents that happen, it’s vital to inform the public of the dangers involved with drowsy driving. If you believe that you’ve been injured by a driver who was drowsy, you should speak with an experienced attorney to get help pursuing the compensation that you deserve.