Many Virginia motorists may have taken to the road after having been awake for 18 hours or longer. In many cases, driving while deprived of sleep is not considered to be serious as an estimated 60 percent of adults have done it at least once. However, some safety advocates say that drowsy driving can be as bad as drunk driving.
In fact, being awake for 18 hours or more could cause a person to drive as if he or she had a blood-alcohol level of .05 percent. Those who have been awake for a full 24 hours may drive as if they had a blood alcohol level of .10 percent, which is more than the legal limit. Drivers who are sleep deprived may also be at risk for falling asleep at the wheel, which could result in a car accident.
Drowsy driving and drunk driving can have very similar effects on a person operating a vehicle. For example, both drowsy driving and drunk driving can make it difficult for a motorist to pay attention to the road. It can also lead to slower reaction times difficulty making quick decisions.
When drunk or drowsy drivers cause motor vehicle accidents, those involved could be at serious risk for suffering injuries. If the injuries are severe enough, a victim may not be able to return to work. A personal injury attorney could help such a victim file a claim for compensation that covers lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Legal counsel could handle all the negotiations.