Most of our Maryland readers understand the importance of being alert and sober when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. However, there are others who decide to drive when they are extremely tired. As a result, they end up causing an accident that can result in injuries, death and property damage.
The risks of drowsy driving have come to the forefront after a weekend accident in which comedian Tracy Morgan was injured. According to police, the driver had been awake for more than a day at the time of the incident. Had he been well rested, there is a good chance that the car accident would not have occurred.
It may not sound as risky, but driving drowsy is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A recent study reported that drivers who had not slept over a period of 24 hours suffered effects equal to somebody with a blood alcohol content of 0.1.
It is hard to pinpoint how many car accidents are a direct result of drowsy driving; however, the National Sleep Foundation estimates this number to be greater than 100,000, with these incidents causing more than 1,500 fatalities.
Many people think that truck drivers are the only ones who can get tired behind the wheel, but this can plague anybody who takes to the road without the proper amount of sleep.
The truck driver in the Tracy Morgan accident was too tired to be behind the wheel, which is outlined in the criminal complaint. These types of accidents are common throughout the country, often leading to criminal charges and civil lawsuits.
Source: 9 News, “Drowsy driving as dangerous as drunk driving” Steve Staeger, Jun. 09, 2014