Accident Lawyers

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has recently issued a press release about their upcoming efforts to raise awareness about the dangers associated with drowsy driving. With Daylight Saving Time coming to an end for the year, motorists in California and across the nation are adjusting to their new sleep schedules. During this time, drivers are reminded to plan for the difficult adjustment by making sure to get plenty of rest and a full night’s sleep before hitting the road in the morning. The CHP, in partnership with the National Sleep Foundation, hopes to raise awareness about this little known deadly driving behavior.

Is Drowsy Driving Really That Bad?

While we all know about the dangers of distracted or drunk driving, how many of us take drowsy driving as seriously? According to the CHP, California has seen an increase in crashes involving sleepy or fatigued drivers over the last three years. In 2014, there were 4,693 crashes involving sleepy or fatigued drivers. In 2016, the number has risen to 6,930. Of those 2016 crashes, there were 47 fatalities.

Drowsy Driving as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

Research shows that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Sleep deprivation can impact judgment, performance and reaction time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that being awake for at least 18 hours has the same impact on your body as a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05. Being awake for at least 24 hours is equal to having a BAC of 0.10 percent, which is higher than the legal limit (0.08 percent).

Recognize Driver Fatigue

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of driver fatigue, such as heavy eyelids or bobbing your head, the CHP recommends you exit the freeway or pull off of the roadway. It can help to take a 20-minute nap or have a caffeinated beverage to help you stay alert. The CHP is quick to point out that those methods should never be used for long periods of time.

If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident involving a drowsy or fatigued driver in San Diego or anywhere along the Central Coast, contact the skilled and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation today.

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