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How does drowsiness affect the ability to drive?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Among the many discussions across the country about whether Daylight Saving Time should go or stay, the matter of drowsy driving is also a hot subject at this time of the year. However, drowsy driving is a danger throughout the year. Too many lives are lost or affected by catastrophic injuries due to fatigued drivers. Terms used include fatigue, sleepy, drowsy, tired and more, but regardless of which name is used, it remains a dangerous condition. 

Red flags that indicate drowsiness

  • Uncontrolled yawning 
  • Tired, sore eyes or problems keeping them open 
  • Boredom 
  • Concentration problems 
  • Drooping head and nodding off 
  • Slow reactions 
  • Irritability 
  • Hallucinations 

Effect on driving

Operating a vehicle while drowsy will increase the risks of being involved in an accident. Furthermore, fatigued drivers should not lose sight of the fact that they risk the lives of their passengers as well as occupants of other vehicles and even pedestrians when they choose to drive in this state. Drowsy drivers often make the following driving errors: 

  • Lane drifting 
  • Missing turns or exits 
  • Failing to use mirrors 
  • Varied rates of speed and erratic braking 

Many drivers admit to being unaware of the last few kilometres they have driven. 

Drowsy vs. alcohol impairment

Not all drivers know that driving while tired is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. The driving abilities of a driver who goes without sleep for 18 hours are as compromised as those of an impaired driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .05% 

If you are the victim of a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, you may pursue financial relief by filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, proving that the other driver was fatigued could be difficult. Therefore, the assistance of a lawyer experienced in personal injury law can be beneficial in making your case.