Maybe you’ve been out after a long day at work and went to get dinner at a restaurant and you’re driving home having a hard time keeping your eyes open, this is fatigued driving. If you’re driving on less then the recommended amount of sleep for your age and body type you may be driving fatigued. It can be hard to get the right amount of sleep every night, but if you don’t you could be putting yourself at an increased risk of a New Haven auto accident.
Under certain conditions fatigued driving can be as bad or worse than driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, if you are driving after getting no sleep within the last 20 hours or longer, your body is feeling the same effects it would feel if you were driving while intoxicated at the legal limit for driving under the influence, 0.08. In Connecticut, if you are driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher you are considered over the legal limit. While there is no test to see if you are driving while fatigued your body reacts to a lack of sleep in much the same way that it does when you have been drinking.
It can be challenging to get an accurate number of fatigue related accidents, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) places the number somewhere around 100,000 each year which results in somewhere around 1500 deaths and 71,000 injuries from accidents. The real number of these types of accident could be much higher as it is difficult to pinpoint drowsiness as a factor in an auto accident or fatality.
If you believe you are about to get behind the wheel after not having had enough sleep, you should stop and wait to drive until you can get some shut eye. If you are driving and feel yourself falling asleep, pull off the road and find a safe, well-lit place to get some rest before going back on the road. Taking precautions can help you avoid a New Haven auto accident and keep you safe from injury or a fatality.
Being tired may not be a reason many people use to avoid getting behind the wheel, but it is the right thing to do. If you’ve experienced an injury as a result of an accident and suspect that the driver may have been drowsy at the time of the accident, contact our office and one of our attorneys will review your case.