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Important facts about drowsy driving

With as much that is said about drunk driving and distracted driving, it’s pretty obvious that both of these are dangerous. However, the notion of drowsy driving does not get the same type of attention…even though it should. After all, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 1,550 people are killed in accidents each year caused by drowsy driving. These crashes also result in 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion lost each year.

Because of this, it is imperative that drivers use reasonable care behind the wheel so that they can avoid crashes caused by drowsy driving. Unlike drunk driving, drowsy driving, by itself, may not be against the law in Florida, but the hazards that come about are certainly just as dangerous.

The NHTSA also indicates that young drivers aged 18 and 29 were most likely to drive while tired. Men were more likely to drive while drowsy than women, and men were also more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel. People with children were more likely to drive drowsy that those without kids.

Further, those who work shift hours are more likely to drive while tired than those who are salaried. Even more telling, a person who had been awake more than 17 hours would be impaired in the same way a person with a .05 BAC would.  A person going without sleep for 24 hours would be impaired in a way similar to a person with a .10 BAC.

Given how dangerous we know drunk drivers can be, it is imperative to treat drowsy driving with the same vigilance.

The Law Office of William E. Raikes III is located in Fort Pierce, FL and serves clients in and around the communities of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie and Vero Beach.

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