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Wake up, Little Susie

Driving Under the Influence of Fatigue

The dog days of summer are here and it seems that each day gets just a little bit longer, especially when it comes to taking a road trip or spending a long day at the beach. This often ends up meaning more time on the road and often less rest than you might normally get which can lead to driver fatigue or “drowsy driving.”

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Do you know your limit?

Did you know that Drowsy Driving can be just as dangerous as Drunk Driving? A study by researchers in Australia showed that being awake for 18 hours produced an impairment equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05, and .10 after 24 hours; .08 is considered legally drunk. Fatigue (being sleepy) can:
  • slow down your thought processes and reaction time;
  • affect your judgment and vision;
  • impair your senses and abilities;
  • cause micro-sleeping (“nodding off”) or falling completely asleep.


We’re in Trouble Deep…

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, 60% of adult drivers – about 168 million people – say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy, and more than one-third, (37% or 103 million people), have actually fallen asleep at the wheel! In fact, of those who have nodded off, 13% say they have done so at least once a month. Four percent – approximately eleven million drivers – admit they have had an accident or near accident because they dozed off or were too tired to drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of drowsy driving each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, and 71,000 injuries. The two main causes of drowsy driving are lack of quality/quantity of sleep and driving at times of the day when you would normally be sleeping. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in such a crash as those sleeping 8 hours or more, while people sleeping less than 5 hours increased their risk four to five times.


How to Avoid Drowsy Driving

It’s not uncommon that some drowsy drivers are stopped and arrested for a DUI since a lot of the symptoms are similar. Just like drinking and driving, things like age and activities (think all day in the surf & sun) can impact your tolerance to fatigue. Here’s how to avoid driving drowsy:
  1. Don’t drive at times when you would normally be asleep.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep before you travel.
  3. On long trips, take a break every 100 miles or 2 hours.
  4. If you think you might fall asleep—find a safe place to stop and take a nap.
  5. Use the “buddy system” and switch drivers when needed.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI related to Drowsy Driving, contact Colbert Law at (407) 705-3220 ! [gallery ids="107,522" type="rectangular" link="none"] ____________________________________________________________