It’s likely that most drivers in New Mexico have gotten behind the wheel at least once while in a drowsy state of mind. According to one study, roughly 60 percent of all adults in the U.S. have been guilty of drowsy driving. While drowsy driving may not seem as dangerous as operating under the influence of alcohol, the two actually share some similarities.
Going for 18 straight hours without sleep can result in driving performance resembling that of a person with a .05 percent blood-alcohol content; in other words, someone who has had one or two drinks. After 24 consecutive sleepless hours, a driver behave as if they have a .10 percent BAC. This exceeds the nation’s legal limit of .08 percent.
Both sleepy and drunk drivers will have difficulty focusing on the road and even experience blurry vision. Furthermore, both will suffer from impaired judgment and reaction times. On the other hand, drowsy drivers are different in that they tend to continue driving fast. Drunk drivers are more likely to travel slowly and engage in cautious behavior like braking and swerving away from obstacles.
Drowsy motorists are encouraged to pull over and, if possible, switch drivers the moment they recognize their condition. Symptoms of drowsiness include being inattentive, drifting out of lanes and yawning constantly.
If a drowsy driver fails to take precautions, they could cause an auto accident. A victim may then have the grounds to file a claim against the guilty party’s auto insurance company. A lawyer could evaluate the claim, factor in any contributory negligence, and hire third-party medical experts to measure the extent of the injuries. Once the lawyer calculates a reasonable sum for damages, he or she can negotiate for a settlement.