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What’s the correlation between sleep-deprived and drunk driving?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2023 | car accidents |

In the fast-paced world of today, it’s not uncommon for people to find themselves battling exhaustion and stress. Unfortunately, the consequences of sleep deprivation can extend far beyond “mere” fatigue. Sleep is a fundamental biological need and without it, one’s physical and mental well-being suffer. Modern lifestyles often lead to sleep deficits, which can result in severe consequences in a number of scenarios, including when one gets behind the wheel.

Sleep-deprived driving, sometimes called drowsy driving, occurs when a driver goes behind the wheel while lacking adequate sleep. Sleep-deprived driving has become a significant concern, and its correlation with drunk driving is an important topic for all road travelers to understand.

Exploring the correlation with drunk driving

Both sleep-deprived and drunk driving share a common factor – impaired judgment and decision-making. When you’re tired, your ability to assess situations, react to unexpected events and make rational choices diminishes significantly. This is analogous to the impaired judgment experienced by individuals under the influence of alcohol.

One of the most alarming correlations between sleep-deprived and drunk driving is the increased risk of accidents. Fatigue and alcohol both slow down reaction times, making it difficult for drivers to respond promptly to changes in traffic conditions. This leads to a higher likelihood of collisions, injuries and even fatalities.

Sleep debt affects the brain’s ability to function optimally, reducing alertness and concentration. Moreover, it can result in microsleeps – brief lapses in attention that can last for just a few seconds but are long enough to cause a collision.

Studies have shown that being awake for 18 hours straight can be equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%. If you stay awake for 24 hours, it can be as impairing as having a BAC of 0.10%, which is higher than the legal limit for driving.

The correlation between sleep-deprived and drunk driving is undeniable. Both impair an individual’s ability to drive safely, leading to increased risks on the road. Understanding this correlation can help car crash victims pursue compensation for their injuries in the event that they have been harmed by a drowsy driver and are concerned about whether they have strong grounds upon which to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or not.


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