You certainly wouldn’t think of letting yourself fall asleep as you drive. If you were that tired, you would find another way to get to your destination or not drive until you’ve rested at least some. However, you may not think twice of driving drowsy.
You certainly aren’t alone. These days, getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep may only happen on the weekend, if at all. Your obligations to work, family and friends often mean that you need an extra shot of caffeine in the morning just to get going. The problem is that even being drowsy presents a danger to you and everyone else if you get behind the wheel.
You wouldn’t drive drunk
You know that driving drunk puts everyone at risk, but did you know that driving drowsy is just as dangerous? Research indicates that staying awake for 18 hours has the same impact on your ability to drive as if your blood alcohol concentration was 0.05.
That may not be above the legal limit of 0.08, but it is more than halfway there. However, being up for 24 hours would put you over the legal limit since it has the same effects on your body and your ability to drive as having a BAC of 0.10.
If you are surprised by that information, you aren’t alone. It’s difficult to quantify just how many serious or fatal accidents result from drowsy driving since there is no way to test for it as there is with alcohol. The numbers are more than likely lower than the reality. Automakers like Volvo, Audi and Mercedes offer their customers the ability to include their drowsiness detection systems in their automobiles. Other, more advanced systems are in the works.
Your safety may not be a priority to another driver
You aren’t the only driver who didn’t get enough sleep last night. If you encounter one of them, the results could be disastrous. The injuries you suffer could prevent you from working for some time.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could suffer lifelong repercussions due to the crash. In any case, you will begin to receive bills for the medical care you have received to this point. In the meantime, if you can’t work, you will begin to lose income. These and other financial losses could cause you a significant amount of stress and frustration.
Fortunately, you may be able to pursue the compensation you need in order to help with your current and future financial needs. Filing a personal injury claim in an Illinois civil court comes with deadlines, documents to file and legal requirements. To make the process easier, you could work with an experienced and compassionate attorney.