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Drowsy driving vs. drunk driving: Which is worse?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Did you know that driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated? Since around 50% of American adults have admitted to driving while drowsy, it is important to understand if that is putting them at a higher risk of injuries or creating an unnecessary hazard on the roads.

The Sleep Foundation states that falling asleep behind the wheel is the most obvious hazard drowsiness causes. However, just being drowsy also has serious effects on the way a driver acts. Being drowsy can lead to poor attention, poor decision-making, poor reaction times and bad judgment in a number of different traffic scenarios.

So, which is worse, distracted driving or drowsy driving?

This is a trick question. Both kinds of driving are considered equally dangerous and lead to many serious injuries and deaths on the road each year. Statistically, someone who has been awake for 18 hours may drive the same way as someone who has a .05% blood alcohol concentration. After being awake for 24 hours, drivers are impaired similarly to someone with a BAC of .01%.

What are the signs of drowsy drivers?

The signs of drowsy drivers are similar to the signs of drunk drivers. The car may go back and forth, weaving within the lane. The car might speed up and slow down in an unusual way. The driver might even go off the road.

As a driver who pays close attention to what you are doing while you drive, it is important for you to recognize the signs of a dangerous driver and to take evasive action. If you notice someone driving oddly, call 911 for assistance.

If you’re hit by a drowsy or drunk driver, you have options

If you are involved in a collision with a drunk or drowsy driver, remember that you do have options. You can take action to make sure they’re held accountable for driving when it was unsafe to do so.

After the crash, get the medical care you need. Then, it’s appropriate to begin looking into your legal options to pursue compensation from the at-fault party.