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Drowsy Driving vs Drunk Driving

If you have ever gotten behind the wheel of a car while you were feeling drowsy, you are not alone. Statistics concerning drowsy driving in the United States state that about 60% of adult drivers in the United States have driven drowsy and approximately a third of people have actually fallen asleep while driving. 

It may not seem like a very dangerous thing to do, but driving while drowsy can have very serious, if not deadly consequences. You could cause a collision with another vehicle and hurt other people, as well as yourself. 

Comparing the Two

Crashed windshield seen from inside the vehicle

Fatigued driving is dangerous in that being extremely sleepy has similar effects on your body and mind to those of being impaired by alcohol. Going 18 hours without sleep and then operating a motor vehicle is comparable to operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05. A blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is considered intoxication in the US. If you’ve for some reason been awake for a full 24 hours and choose to drive, this is comparable to having a BAC of .10. 

If you or a loved one of yours has been injured by a drunk or drowsy driver in Anchorage, contact an Anchorage personal injury lawyer who will be able to help you exercise your rights as an innocent and injured accident victim. You may be entitled to significant financial compensation for your injuries and losses. 

Driving while intoxicated and driving while drowsy both make it extremely difficult to pay attention to the road and slows your reaction time to a dangerously slow pace. With all their similarities, drunk and drowsy drivers do not always appear the same on the roadway. A drunk driver will usually drive at a slower pace and attempt to properly react. However, a sleepy driver may nod off while traveling at fast speeds. This being said, drowsy drivers do not always brake or swerve when they should. 

Whether you’re a passenger or a driver, you can help keep yourself and others around you safe by keeping an eye out for red flags. Drowsy driving signs include fluttering or heavy eyelids, trouble focusing and remembering things, yawning, and lane drifting. If this begins happening to you while you’re driving, pull over and take a power nap or buy a caffeinated drink. If you’re able to, switch drivers with someone in the car with you in order to keep you both safe. 

Statistical Information

According to the Alaska Department of Transportation, there were 80 driving fatalities in Alaska in 2018, 29 of which were related to alcohol impairment. This is equal to about 36% of drivers in Alaska who were killed in accidents in 2018 being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Drowsy driving claimed 795 lives in the United States in 2017, according to information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Both of these behaviors are negligent and dangerous forms of driver distraction and can result in serious injury or death. They should both be avoided at all costs. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a drowsy or drunk driver in Anchorage or another city in Alaska, call the Law Office of Jason Skala at 1-907-569-6633 to speak with a reputable Anchorage car accident attorney concerning your case. 

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