The American Sleep Foundation states that almost half the adult drivers in Michigan and the rest of the United States confess to repeatedly driving while feeling sleepy. Almost 20 percent of the drivers surveyed admitted that during some time in the last year, they fell asleep while driving. Forty percent of the drivers stated that they experienced falling asleep behind the wheel more than once since they began driving.
Many drivers may be unaware that drowsy driving is a hazard that places themselves and others on the road in danger. According to a report issue by the Governors Highway Safety Association, it is estimated that 5,000 people lost their lives in 2015 due to motor vehicle crashes caused in some part by drowsy driving.
Driving while drowsy can be likened to driving while under the influence of alcohol. The reaction times of drowsy drivers will be reduced as will their ability to pay attention and their awareness of hazards. Individuals who drive after enduring more than 20 hours with no sleep are similar to drivers who have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit in the United States. Drowsy drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than alert drivers.
Because the signs of fatigue can be difficult to notice, drowsy drivers may not know that they are fatigued. It is also not unusual for individuals to experience micro-sleep, 4 or 5 seconds of which can result in a vehicle traveling a distance equal to the length of a football field if the vehicle is moving at highway speed.
A personal injury attorney may pursue financial compensation on behalf of clients who have been injured in car accidents. Lawsuits might be filed against negligent drowsy drivers for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.