Attorney David J. King


Driving while exhausted is as dangerous as drunk driving

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2022 | Car Accidents

Most people have more obligations than time in the day, especially if they need to balance a career with a family. They work eight hours or more, commute and have to take care of their homes as well. Often, social and professional obligations, as well as family responsibilities, will take precedence over someone taking care of themselves.

A parent might stay up late double-checking their child’s homework or doing the dishes, leaving themselves with only a few hours of sleep. Young professionals in their twenties might push their bodies too far when out socializing or trying to finish a major project.

What people fail to realize is that becoming too fatigued can be as dangerous as having too much to drink if you intend to drive.

Exhaustion does a lot of the same things that alcohol will do to your brain

If you have too much to drink, you could potentially doze off at the wheel. You will have a hard time making good choices in an emergency situation, and you will likely struggle with focusing your full attention on the control of your vehicle.

All of those same issues can arise when you drive while exhausted. The longer you have gone without sleep, the more likely it is that your fatigue will impact your driving skill. After 20 hours without sleep, you’re driving performance will be comparable to someone who is at the legal limit for blood-alcohol concentration (BAC).

In other words, if you got up for work at 6 a.m. and stayed out as the designated driver for your friends, your driving skill will be as impaired as theirs is due to their alcohol consumption when the bars close at 2 a.m.

Avoid fatigued driving and watch for drowsiness in others

Recognizing that drowsy driving is dangerous can help you make better decisions about when you get behind the wheel and when you might ask someone else to drive you home. You can also use that information to hold someone else accountable if they cause a crash that leaves you with injuries or completely destroys your vehicle.

Identifying and avoiding the most frequent causes of significant wrecks can help you stay safe on the roads.