A study in 2012 found that young people were among those most likely to drive while drowsy. Teens and adults in their twenties reported less “sleep satisfaction,” indicating that they do not get sufficient sleep.
About one in five of these young adults rated as “sleepy” on a standard assessment that measures whether a person’s sleepiness may affect their everyday activities. Those activities may include driving, which can suffer if a driver is sleepy.
Drowsiness can affect a driver’s reaction time, vision, judgment and information processing. Studies have shown that going 20 hours without sleep can affect a driver as much as a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent, the legal limit.
Drunken and distracted driving may get more airtime, but driving without enough rest can be just as dangerous. A driver who nods off, even if only for a moment, becomes a pawn in an out-of-control vehicle that could strike anything at any time. And on long stretches of highway, which tend to lull drivers further into sleepiness, high speeds can make those out-of-control moments deadly.
In our next post we’ll talk more about drowsy driving, including some of the warning signs to watch out for and how to combat drowsiness if you have no alternative but to drive on less than a full night of sleep.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney. The right lawyer can help you protect your rights while recommending an appropriate course of action and fighting for your interests.
Source: Drowsydriving.org, “Young People More Likely to Drive Drowsy,” Nov. 9, 2012