When a person is behind the wheel, his or her main priority is to focus on the road and stay vigilant to potential hazards. This can be difficult to do when the driver is sleepy. Fatigued drivers can cause auto accidents, yet many people overlook the danger associated with driving while dangerously fatigued. In fact, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as impaired driving.
Most Delaware drivers are aware of the danger of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and people know that distracted driving can lead to an increased chance of a car accident. However, most people do not acknowledge how dangerous it can be to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while sleepy. Just like drugs or alcohol, fatigue can affect a person’s mental function and physical capabilities.
Drowsiness can lead to slower hand-eye coordination, vision, cognitive abilities, reaction time and ability to make decisions while driving. Studies show that a person who has been awake for a period of 24 hours has the same mental and physical function as a person who has a blood alcohol content of .10%. Drowsiness is a growing safety concern and a factor in many collisions that take place on Delaware roads.
Just like an impaired driver, a drowsy driver is responsible for the choices he or she makes behind the wheel. If a person is too tired to drive safely, that person should delay operating a vehicle. Victims of auto accidents caused by fatigue have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury claim against the liable party.