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Drowsy driving poses higher accident risks

Much has been made of promoting highway safety throughout New Jersey and the rest of the country. The recent focus of public awareness campaigns have been on issues such as drunk and distracted driving. ‘Don’t drink and drive” and ‘don’t text while driving” are the clear and simple messages for these widely known problems. However, these campaigns have done little to address another major threat to the roads — drowsy driving.

Most people associate sleep deprivation and motor vehicle accidents with the trucking industry. Tight schedules and incentives for truckers who meet delivery quotas are common. However, the problem is just as bad with passenger drivers. In a recent survey, over 30% of regular passenger car drivers reported having driven at least once while extremely tired within the prior month. It has been shown that driving without sleep for a 24 hour period is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.10. This is well over the limit for what is considered legally drunk.

Further compounding the drowsy driving problem is the increased use of nighttime sleep aids. Even though the directions are quite clear regarding the need to avoid driving for at least seven to eight hours after use, many sleep aid users do not follow this protocol.

No matter the situation, every driver has a responsibility to fellow motorists to exercise proper caution and drive safely. When a motorist breaks this responsibility by driving while drowsy, they can be considered negligent. A personal injury lawyer can explain the issues of liability and compensation if a negligent driver causes a car crash.