prestoMost people think that some of the worst forms of irresponsible driving behavior include driving drunk or texting while driving. These are generally the most commonly discussed forms of distracted driving these days. However, people tend to underestimate the risks associated with driving tired in Phoenix, AZ.
According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, driving without sleep for 19 hours is equivalent to driving with a BAC of 0.05% while driving without sleep for 24 hours is as bad as driving with a BAC of 0.10%. It is thus evident that driving while tired is definitely as risky as drunk driving.
Collisions are natural consequences of driving tired. That is why there are strict drowsy driving laws in place to curb driving tired but just like there are drivers who will get penalized for DUI, there are drivers who still drive while tired. Distracted driving thus continues to be a problem in Phoenix, AZ.
How to Determine if You are Drowsy or Tired?
As responsible drivers, it is up to us to ensure we don’t get behind the wheel when we know that we are fatigued or sleepy. This puts the driver, their passengers (if any) and other people around them at risk. Here are some ways that can help you determine if you are drowsy or tired. If you watch out for these symptoms, you could prevent yourself from driving while tired:
- You keep nodding off.
- Your decision-making skills seem impaired
- You don’t feel alert
- You feel that your response time is slower than usual
- You get angry too quickly
- You don’t feel interested in your surroundings
- You are unable to communicate properly
- You are moody
These and other similar symptoms can make you realize that you are not hundred percent fit to drive. If you feel any of these things, you should avoid driving. If you absolutely need to go somewhere, ask somebody to drive you there or call a cab or Uber. Just don’t get behind the wheel.
It can sometimes also happen that you did not feel very tired when you started to drive but en route you begin to feel as if you’re nodding off. The best thing to do in this scenario is to pull over. If there is someone with you and if they have a valid driver’s license, you can ask them to drive instead of you. The age-old theories of pulling down the windows and inhaling some fresh air or putting on the radio to wake yourself up really don’t work if you’re really very sleepy. The best thing to do is to avoid a distracted driving situation. You don’t want to cause an accident or get caught and penalized on the basis of drowsy driving laws.
Dangers of Driving Tired
Statistics show that drowsy driving causes 1 out of every 5 crashes that are fatal. This translates into 20% of all fatal accidents. In 2015 alone, driving tired was the cause of 328,000 crashes, 109,000 injuries, and 6400 deaths. The National Sleep Foundation reports that 60% of adult drivers report driving tired at least once a month during the past one year. 2 out of 5 drivers said that they have actually dozed off behind the wheel. These are alarming statistics since drivers who are drowsy and/or fatigued are 3.5 times more at risk of getting into a road accident as compared to drivers who are alert and well-rested.
If you or someone you know is a victim of an accident that was caused by a driver who was driving tired, you should contact a car accident lawyer immediately. At Warnock Mackinlay Law, we have a team of car accident lawyers who have helped numerous clients recover millions of dollars for injuries that they have sustained. We believe in getting results for our clients because there is no justification for allowing car accident victims to suffer because of the fault of a third party.
People don’t take distracted driving seriously enough, but our legal team knows the serious consequences that can occur because of it. We have seen clients who have suffered long-term disability, memory loss, and emotional trauma and spinal cord injuries because of a driver who hit them while he was driving tired. The physical injuries sustained are bad enough, but the recovery can take quite a while. Victims can face significant financial challenges and can even lose their employment if they take too long to get back to work or are unable to do the same work they did before. Call Warnock Mackinlay Law today so we can help you get your legal affairs in order.