As a third-shift worker at the Belvidere Assembly Plant, you often burn the candle at both ends—sleeping too little and then heading off to work. By the end of your shift, you are exhausted and can’t wait to get home to Machesney Park. But did you know that when you are drowsy, your judgment and reaction time are both impaired?
It Can Be Just as Dangerous as Driving Drunk
According to the National Sleep Foundation, driving after being awake for more than 18 hours is equivalent to driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent and carries the same risks for a serious or even fatal crash.
Understand the Risks
So, how do you know if you are at risk of causing a drowsy driving crash? If you are a young person, a shift worker, a commercial driver, or a business traveler, you are at special risk of drowsy driving. Those with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders are also at risk. In addition, the following conditions increase your risk for causing a drowsy driving accident:
- Fatigue or sleep deprivation
- Driving alone for long periods of time
- Driving on dark, rural roads
- Drinking alcohol—even in small quantities
- Taking prescription or over-the-counter medication that can make you sleepy
- Driving long distances without taking frequent rest breaks
- Driving in the mid-afternoon or late at night
- Working more than one job, with one involving shift work
- Working in excess of 60 hours per week
- Fatigue due to travel across several time zones
As wrongful death attorneys, we have seen the devastation that follows a fatal drowsy driving accident. The sad part is that these deaths are largely preventable. If you have lost a loved one in a drowsy driving accident, contact our office using our convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate attorneys. We will assess your case, explain your legal options, and help you to plan your next steps—all at no obligation.