Those who are more inclined to get behind the wheel while drowsy include teens and young adults, people who work nights or long, irregular shifts, and individuals who have sleep disorders. Of course, it also includes those who simply do not get enough sleep, voluntarily or otherwise.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a report related to drowsy driving on August 8, 2016. The report found that a lack of sleep can imitate the effects of drunk driving. For example, 18 hours without sleep can mimic a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05 percent, 21 hours without sleep is equal to a BAC of .08, the legal limit in New York, and 24 hours without sleep equals a BAC of .10 behind the wheel.
The report noted that the dangers caused by drowsy driving have even prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission to revise the definition of impaired driving. Now it includes drunk, drugged, distracted and drowsy drivers.
It can be difficult to quantify the impact of drowsy driving because, unlike drunk driving, law enforcement has no way to measure level of sleepiness. The GHSA aims to help states to develop awareness and education programs, as well as licensing requirements, to begin to combat the problem.
If you suspect your car accident was caused by the drowsy driving of another party, contact an attorney to discuss your rights.