While most will agree that getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated poses a threat to the driver and others, it is unbeknownst to many that a motorist’s lack of sleep may pose equal or greater danger to those on the roadways. According to a report released this month by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), drowsy-driving accounts for 10 to 20 percent of large truck or bus crashes on U.S. roadways. Every day, nearly 83.6 million American drivers get behind the wheel while fatigued and an estimated 5,000 lives were lost in drowsy-driving related accidents last year.
Drowsy driving may impair a motorist’s alertness, reaction-time, ability to pay attention, judgement and decision-making. Research from the GHSA reveals that 18 hours without sleep is equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05%, 21 hours without sleep is equivalent to .08% BAC (the legal blood alcohol limit in the U.S.), and 24 hours without sleep is equivalent to .10% BAC.
Due to their lengthy, unconventional work shifts and economic pressure, commercial motor vehicle operators are especially at risk for sleep deprivation and developing health issues. A high-profile case that stemmed from a June 2014 car accident which injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed his friend James McNair brought to light the fatal consequences of driving while drowsy. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the incident occurred due to the fact the truck driver was fatigued at the time he struck the back of Mr. Morgan’s limo.
Drivers who drive while sleep deprived pose a dangerous threat to other motorists, pedestrians and themselves. If you have suffered an injury or had a loved one pass away due to the negligent actions of a drowsy-driver, you may be entitled to compensation. The New York personal injury attorneys at Sakkas Cahn & Weiss are experienced in handling complex motor vehicle injury cases and will fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Call the firm at 212-571-7171.