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How Night Driving Contributes to Drowsiness

night driving in Virginia

Around two out of three deadly car crashes involving young adults take place between 6 pm and 6 am. The chances of drowsy driving at night are higher, particularly for young drivers because of a combination of various factors, including reduced visibility due to darkness, slower response time because of tiredness, and relative inexperience in operating a vehicle under such circumstances. 

The AAA Foundation indicates that sleep deprivation causes a motorist to be more prone to an accident. An individual who gets under four hours of sleep at night is 12 times more susceptible to be involved in a collision.

Research studies report that teens should get between eight to ten hours of sleep every night. However, many teens do not get adequate sleep. According to one study, only 15 percent of teenagers reported getting eight hours of sleep on school nights.

Why is Drowsy Driving Hazardous?

A motorist needs to remain alert and responsive. But when the body is sleep-deprived, its reflexes slow down considerably. As a result, a motorist may not be able to stop or swerve in emergencies. Most people are aware of the dangers of drunk driving, but not many are aware that drowsy driving can be just as unsafe as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Studies indicate that the effects of alcohol consumption and those of sleep deprivation are surprisingly similar. Below are some key facts:

  • Driving a vehicle when sleep-deprived for 18 hours is similar to operating an automobile with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.05 percent.
  • Driving a vehicle after being sleep deprived for 24 hours is similar to operating a vehicle with a BAC level of 0.10 percent.

Interestingly, research studies show that sleep deprivation has a significant adverse effect on a person’s ability to focus, think, and make decisions. Being sleep deprived may cause a person to be unable to perform skillful maneuvers such as making a sharp turn, parallel parking, reversing around a corner, or turning left at an intersection.

If you or someone you love has sustained injuries due to a drowsy driver, you can sue to obtain compensation from them.

Drowsy Driving: Key Facts

Research shows that the highest probability of a drowsy driving accident occurring is between 12 am and 6 am. In most of these accidents, the person who causes the collision is a single motorist with no passengers in the car. These crashes typically take place on highways and rural roadways, where drivers tend to drive at higher speeds.

According to studies, the following people are more likely to be involved in drowsy driving accidents:

  • Individuals with medical issues, such as sleep apnea or chronic insomnia
  • People who regularly work late night shifts
  • Commercial truckers, who operate heavy vehicles for more than 11 hours with no breaks
  • People on medications that cause them to become drowsy or sleepy

Tips to Prevent Drowsy Driving

  • Make sure you sleep for at least seven hours every night.
  • If you feel fatigued due to sleep deprivation or another reason, avoid operating a vehicle.
  • For long rides, bring along a co-driver to allow you to take turns driving.
  • Avoid driving at night as far as possible.
  • If you have a physical or mental condition that necessitates you to take medication that makes you drowsy, avoid driving at all costs.
  • There are numerous rest stops on state highways for individuals who continuously get drowsy while behind the wheel. If you feel tired or sleepy while driving, pull into a rest stop and take a nap.

Legal Options after Being Struck by a Drowsy Motorist

If you are involved in a drowsy driver accident, immediately call 911 and inform them of the crash. You will need to seek prompt medical care as well as file a report with the authorities. Sometimes even severe internal injuries are not immediately perceptible due to the sudden adrenaline rush. This makes it vital to go through a comprehensive medical evaluation, even if you feel nothing is amiss.

Contact a Seasoned Drowsy Driving Injury Attorney in Virginia

After consulting a medical practitioner, the next step is to consult an experienced drowsy driving attorney in Virginia. You will only be entitled to collect compensation in cases where you can prove that the accident occurred directly due to the motorist’s drowsiness and fatigue and without any involvement from your end.

Therefore, it is crucial to work with a skilled lawyer who has the necessary insight and experience to build a solid case against the driver who caused the accident.

At the law offices of Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz, a qualified drowsy driving accident attorney will work hard to ensure that you receive rightful compensation for your injuries and losses. Call today at (434) 977-7977 for an in-depth, no-charge case review.

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