No one who drives frequently would ever be able to say that they’ve never driven tired or sleepy. Drowsy driving is incredibly dangerous and the sleepy driving in question is behind the wheel of a commercial truck, it can lead to grievous injuries to you or a loved one.

According to the most recent 2013 statistics, drowsy driving accounted for nearly 72,000 crashes, 44,000 of which caused severe injury. And while falling asleep at the wheel is one of the biggest risks that a drowsy driver faces, exhaustion can have other adverse effects on a driver.

The equivalent to drunk driving

Sleep deprivation can have the same effects on your body and mind as alcohol. It’s illegal to operate your vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. When you go without sleep for 18 hours, the effects on your body are equivalent to that of driving with a BAC of .05. Even worse, driving after a full 24 hours with no sleep affects your body the same way as having a BAC of .10 would.

One noticeable difference between driving while sleep-deprived and driving under the influence of alcohol is that drunk driving is illegal. And whereas a drunk driver may face civil penalties, the consequences of drowsy driving can be costly in other ways.

Drowsy driving can have devastating results

Exhaustion and tiredness muddle the mind, which can slow a drowsy driver’s reaction time. But drowsy driving can be difficult to recognize on the road, as it doesn’t always look the same as drunk driving.

Whereas drunk drivers might swerve into other lanes or brake suddenly, a drowsy driver might not have the ability or focus to stay alert enough to register their surroundings at all. Drowsy drivers can nod off behind the wheel without slowing down or veering off the road. This means that high-speed crashes can be a common consequence of drowsy driving.

Options for victims of drowsy driving accidents

Injuries from a car crash can be debilitating and life-changing. If you suffered an injury from a drowsy driver, filing a personal injury claim may be your answer to getting the help you need. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance and hold drowsy drivers accountable for their actions, which are often all-too preventable.