Should You Really be Concerned about Drowsy Driving?
Some call it driver fatigue. And, there’s no doubt that no one wants to admit to drowsy driving. The fact is that it is a more common occurrence than anyone can imagine. According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of drivers confirmed that they drove while feeling sleepy. That’s just the beginning.
What do we mean? Consider this alarming detail from the same survey. Thirty-seven percent of drivers actually admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel. In case you’re wondering the size of the poll, the 37 percent represents 103 million people. Obviously, even a couple of seconds of snoozing can make for a catastrophic accident.
The Perils of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is so dangerous that experts find it akin to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Here are some of the perils of drowsy driving:
- Difficulty in assessing situations
- Problems with staying focused
- Nodding off
- Unexpectedly changing or drifting into lanes of traffic
In some cases, a drowsy driver may actually be more apt to cause an accident. Some motorists who are under the influence drive slower. However, a motor vehicle operator who is driving while fatigued may actually fall asleep. As a result, he or she may inadvertently hit the accelerator harder and cause chaos on the road.
The New Jersey legislature is well aware of the problem with fatigued driving. We previously wrote about Maggie’s law. A driver who has been awake more than twenty-four hours can be charged with vehicular homicide if they cause a fatal accident. The penalty for driving while sleep-deprived is not worth the risk.
Let’s add another concern that could contribute to drowsy driving. Have you heard of “highway hypnosis”? According to one well-recognized resource, the phenomenon is essentially driving asleep with your eyes open. This can occur when someone drives long distances and starts losing awareness of the roadway. Obviously, this is also potentially hazardous as the source of motor vehicle accidents.
It’s one thing to recognize if you are the driver who is starting to feel fatigued. The onus is on you to protect yourself and others. It’s quite another thing to worry about if you are a passenger. Or, perhaps a motor vehicle operator who feels threatened by someone else who is driving while falling asleep.
It is sometimes impossible to question another driver’s actions before it is too late. Obviously, when someone notices a vehicle driven erratically, the instinct is to avoid contact. Calling law enforcement authorities to advise them of the situation is appropriate.
Notwithstanding, a fatigued driver can be responsible for an accident that causes serious injuries. In this case, it is advantageous to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney regarding your concerns.
We Want to Assist You
At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have nearly thirty years of experience representing those injured in motor vehicle accidents. Hurt because of someone else’s negligence? Contact us to discuss the circumstances that caused your injuries.