Thanks to various public campaigns and legislative efforts to crack down on the behavior, just about everyone knows that driving while intoxicated is extremely dangerous to yourself and everyone around you. What you may not know about, though, is how driving while overly tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk, and sometimes even more so.
“Drowsy driving,” as it is sometimes called, results in tens of thousands of automobile accidents nationwide every year. These collisions are often caused by people who are unaware that they are acting recklessly. Here is a basic overview of what to know about drowsy driving in Tampa and why contacting a proactive car accident attorney is essential after being injured in this type of collision.
Common Causes of Drowsy Driving
While numerous physicians and health authorities recommend that you get at least eight hours of sleep each night, it is far from uncommon for most people to get much less. This is especially true if you have young children or unconventional working hours. For this reason, drowsy driving accidents in Tampa are common not only late at night between midnight and sunrise but also in the late afternoon. These twilight hours are when the sun is starting to set, and the stress of a long day is beginning to really settle in.
Several other factors may contribute to or cause drowsy driving, as experienced Tampa attorneys know all too well. For example, certain medical conditions may cause poor-quality sleep that does not leave you feeling rested even if you are unconscious for the recommended amount of time. Likewise, certain prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause excessive fatigue as a side effect. This can sometimes be to the extent that it makes it difficult to operate heavy machinery like motor vehicles.
How Dangerous Is Driving While Fatigued?
When you are overly fatigued, you will typically have slower reaction times, more difficulty judging speed and distance, and more trouble focusing compared to someone who is well-rested. You may also:
- Have impaired judgment causing you to miss things such as traffic signs, stop lights, and turn signals
- Become frustrated with other drivers more easily, making you more prone to road rage
- Fall asleep behind the wheel
These symptoms are not just broadly similar to those associated with intoxication from alcohol—in many respects, they are precisely the same. According to CDC estimates, someone who has been awake for 18 hours may be impaired by fatigue to the same extent that they would be impaired by a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05.
Being awake for 24 hours is even worse, as it can be roughly equivalent to having a BAC of 0.10. Put simply, when it comes to what you should know about drowsy driving in Tampa, the most significant fact is that it should be avoided.
Speak With an Attorney About What to Know About Drowsy Driving in Tampa
While Florida does not have a law explicitly prohibiting driving while excessively tired, it is one of only a few states undertaking public awareness campaigns. Unfortunately, that is not enough to stop thousands of crashes caused by a lack of sleep from injuring people each year – sometimes to a permanent and debilitating degree.
If you were in an auto collision and are unsure of what you need to know about drowsy driving in Tampa, call Mickey Keenan Attorneys at Law today for a consultation. At our firm, we believe in delivering results and could analyze the details of your situation to advocate on your behalf tenaciously. We also pride ourselves in never making more than you if you are awarded compensation.