Drowsy driving is so common in Maryland that it’s practically expected. If you have to be at work at 5 in the morning, you might feel like you have no choice but to hit the road when you’re half-asleep. This might also apply if you have a night shift or closing shift that interrupts your regular sleep schedule. Unfortunately, drowsy driving isn’t as harmless as many people think it is.
What makes drowsy driving so dangerous?
If you hit the road when you’re tired, you’re putting yourself at an increased risk of a motor vehicle accident. You might feel alert when you first get in the vehicle, but as you go through your regular commute, the drowsiness starts to set in. You might even go to sleep for a few seconds. These “microsleeps” are just as dangerous as texting while driving and can have serious consequences.
Drowsy driving also impairs your judgment, reaction time and decision-making skills. In fact, studies have shown that drowsy driving is just as bad as drunk driving. You could easily go off the road, pull out in front of someone, fail to stop in time or smash into another person’s vehicle. Research has shown that drowsy driving causes nearly one-fourth of fatal car accidents.
Drowsy driving doesn’t just happen when you’re tired, although sleep deprivation is a common factor. Sleep disorders and certain medications can make you tired during the day even if you get enough sleep. If your doctor prescribes a new medication, talk to them about the side effects so you know if you can drive safely or not. Otherwise, you might end up dealing with a victim’s personal injury attorney.
How do you prove that drowsy driving took place?
If another driver caused the accident, you might have to prove that they were responsible before you can prevail. Drowsy driving can be difficult to prove because you can’t measure drowsiness like you would a blood alcohol concentration. You also don’t know much about the other driver’s lifestyle or work schedule. However, your attorney could figure out a way to approach the case and secure the compensation that you deserve.