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Drowsy Driving vs. Drunk Driving

Long Island DUI Attorney

Fatigued Driving is as Dangerous as Impaired Driving:

Just about everyone knows by now that drunk driving is dangerous. Slowed reaction time, poor judgment, and impaired ability all make driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol terribly unsafe and hazardous to everyone on the road. This is why states have really cracked down on impaired drivers in the past few decades. Did you know that being tired can have just as much impact on your driving just as driving under the influence (DUI)?

Fatigued Driving Research

A 2016 AAA Traffic Safety Foundation report investigated the risks associated with sleep deprivation and driving. The results were quite startling, to say the least. According to the report, lack of sleep has pretty much the same effect as being drunk. Here’s how the numbers work out:

  • Awake 18 hours without sleep      =          Blood alcohol level (BAC) .05
  • Awake 24 hours without sleep      =          Blood alcohol level (BAC) .10

The report also explains that healthy adults should be getting no less than seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. People who did not get enough sleep were at higher risks of having an accident. Here is how those numbers work out:

  • < 4 hours sleep in last 24 hours      =          5 times more likely to have an accident
  • 4-5 hours sleep in last 24 hours      =          3 times more likely to have an accident
  • 5-6 hours sleep in last 24 hours      =          9 times more likely to have an accident
  • 6-7 hours sleep in last 24 hours      =          3 times more likely to have an accident

Numbers are Likely Lower Than Reality

The AAA report admits that it did not have crash data for accidents occurring between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. for the purposes of the study. Since that is a time when many fatigued drivers have accidents, there is a good chance that the actual statistics are even worse than reported.

What to do if Your Driving and Fatigued

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that if you find yourself driving and you begin to “doze off,” you should immediately find a place to pull over and get rest. If you must drive further to find a safe place to stay the night or get home, you should at least stop for 20 minutes, move and stretch, and use caffeinated beverages to give you a boost of alertness or energy. However, caffeine is not a substitute for sleep. If only works briefly, and the effects will wear off quickly, leaving you even more tired than before. The only cure for fatigue is sleep.

Getting Ticketed for Reckless or Impaired Driving

There have been numerous attempts to pass legislation in New York that would have criminalized drowsy operation of a motor vehicle. The latest attempt was a 2015 bill introduced to make the act a misdemeanor (felony if someone is injured or killed). Thus far, all such attempts have failed to pass. Nevertheless, if you are so fatigued that you are driving recklessly, police can stop you and charge you with reckless driving. Likewise, you may be charged with other offenses that relate to unsafe operation of a motor vehicle.

Speak to a Long Island DUI Attorney at 888-DUI-Lawyer for Legal Representation Today!

If you are charged with any type of vehicular offense, including DWI or DWAI in Long Island, speak to DUI Attorney Richard Jaffe (888) DUI-LAWYER today to get real answers and real help fast.






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