Those who drive on roads and highways in Virginia while fatigued could be putting themselves and others in danger. A tired driver is three times more likely to get into an accident compared to someone who is adequately rested. Furthermore, a person who has not slept in 20 hours will have the same level of impairment as an individual with a blood alcohol content of .08%. According to a National Sleep Foundation study, 20% of participants acknowledged falling asleep behind the wheel in the past year.
Furthermore, 40% said that they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once during their driving lives. However, a driver may not necessarily know that he or she is too tired to drive. In some cases, drivers will fall asleep for up to five seconds at a time. Depending on a vehicle’s speed, that can be enough time to travel the length of a football field.
There are many ways that a person can avoid driving while drowsy or fatigued. Ideally, an adult will get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Individuals who are taking medication that could make them drowsy should avoid driving if it is not safe to do so. Finally, employers and schools can do more to ensure that individuals have enough time to rest between shifts or between classes.
Individuals who are injured by a negligent driver may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and other damages. Generally speaking, drowsy driving is considered to be a form of negligence as it impairs a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. An attorney might use driver statements or other evidence to prove that driver impairment played a role in an accident. Cases may be resolved in court or though a settlement.