Driving with your eyes closed is a dangerous thing. A responsible driver would never do that—but what about other drivers?
What about the cross-country driver who’s driving on a few-hours sleep? Or the midnight driver who hasn’t been to bed in twenty-four hours?
These drivers you have to watch out for. They’re very dangerous because when fatigue sets in, these drivers might be driving with their eyes closed.
A person needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Without enough sleep, a driver risks fatigue. Driver fatigue is an extreme tiredness that can impair attention, reaction time and decision-making. Even worse, fatigue can cause a driver to nod off behind the wheel.
Driver fatigue, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is more common among:
- Adults between 18-29
- Adults with children
- Shift workers
- Commercial drivers
- Drivers with sleep disorders
- Medicated drivers
- Individuals who snore
- Drivers who sleep 6 or fewer hours.
Fatigued driving is risky driving, something everyone should know. If a person can’t keep their eyes open, they shouldn’t be behind the wheel In fact, in terms of danger, fatigued driving is comparable to drunk driving. The National Sleep foundation equates 18 hours of wakefulness with a blood alcohol level of .05. It equates 24 hours of wakefulness with a blood alcohol level of .10.
Despite the risks, driver fatigue continues to be a cause of serious auto accidents. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:
- Almost 40% of drivers have fallen asleep at least once while driving.
- One in five fatal crashes can be linked to driver fatigue.
- Driver fatigue causes almost 330,000 crashes each year.
- Annually, driver fatigue causes 109,000 injury crashes and 6,400 fatal crashes.
If you’ve been the victim of a tired driver, a fatigued driver or a driver who fell asleep at the wheel, call Berger & Lagnese at 412-471-4300 or email us. Our car and truck accident lawyers work on cases in Pittsburgh, Beaver, Greensburg, Uniontown, Erie, Washington, and all courts in Western Pennsylvania. We’re here to help you.