P.I. Pulse: Driving While Drowsy

Mar. 6th, 2014   /   ,

Our South Florida personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green handle all types of personal injury cases, but the most frequent type of case that we take on involves car accidents in which an individual has sustained injury due to recklessness or negligence of another driver. These car accidents occur for a variety of reasons, many of which the general public is familiar with.

Everyone is aware of the dangers of driving while drunk, for example, but did you know that driving while drowsy could be just as deadly?

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 15% and 33% of all fatal crashes in the United States involve tired drivers. Sure, that is a wide range, but even if 15 out of every 100 car crashes involve tired drivers, there is clearly an issue – even more so if 33 out of each 100 involve tired drivers.

How exactly does drowsiness lead to dangerous driving? According to medical experts, drowsiness, like being intoxicated, delays our reaction times. So, for example, someone driving while drowsy might accidentally hit a child on a bicycle or another vehicle entering the highway that they might have otherwise avoided hitting, had they been fully awake and fully alert.

Additionally, according to a report by CNN, drowsiness leads to impulsivity, causing drivers to respond without thinking. A common example of poor, impulsive decision-making on the road is the existence of road rage, which, according to medical experts, is a common function of the fact that drivers are increasingly drowsy while behind the wheel. The drivers don’t have time to think through an event that occurred on the road; rather, if something happened that bothered them, they react with impulsivity and anger.

The CDC report cited above also revealed the startling fact that roughly 4.2% of respondents to a survey admitted falling asleep while behind the wheel of a vehicle within the last month. Falling asleep behind the wheel is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a driver and his or her fellow motorists – reaction time becomes meaningless because the driver literally is not aware of what is going on around them.

There are many reasons for which people are increasingly driving while drowsy – longer hours at work, restless nights due to the inundation of bedside mobile technology and the higher intake of sugary drinks, etc. Whatever the reason, there is no justification for driving while drowsy. Just as you should call for a ride when you are under the influence of alcohol, you should seek assistance in getting from one place to another if you feel that you are drowsy. You should not get behind the wheel of a car after a night of heavy drinking and, likewise, you should not get behind the wheel of a car after a night of sleepless tossing and turning – the causes of delayed reaction times might be different, but the fatal results might be the same.

For more information on this problem, please reach out to the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green. You can reach us by calling 561-266-9191 or emailing us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com

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