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Drowsy Driving is the New Drunk Driving, with serious safety implications

By Jeffrey J. Downey, personal attorney, Fairfax Virginia

In February 2018, The American Automobile Association put out some illuminating statistics, indicating that drowsiness could be identified in nearly 11 percent of accidents that resulted in significant property damage, airbag deployment, or injury.

When we combine that drowsy driving with a beer or two around the holiday times, we have a recipe for collisions, explains Tysons Corner personal injury attorney Jeffrey Downey.

We live in a society where has 24-hour demands.  Shift workers as night owls heading down the road in the daylights with eyes barely open, truck drivers that don’t get enough sleep, and cab, Lyft, and Uber drivers working late hours, who are taking home people who are impaired.

Every year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 100,000 accidents are reported are the result of fatigue and sleepiness; an estimate that is likely conservative given under-reporting.  

Eight years ago, the show “Mythbusters” on the Discovery Channel did a comparison test between driving while intoxicated and driving while sleepy.

In the controlled test, after alcohol was administered to two drivers, one male, one female, to a level just under the 0.07 legal limit under controlled circumstances (25 laps) with police monitoring the drivers, a second test was conducted several days later.  Using that a baseline, the drivers, now clear of alcohol, stayed up for nearly 30 hours before driving and their results were instructive. Each driver drove ten times worse!!

Sure, the test was skewed in that the drivers stayed up for 30 hours, but a few hours of less sleep here, a few hours of less sleep there, and the results are clear.

There has been a crackdown and continues to be a crackdown on drunk drivers.  But drivers who are sleepy or suffer from sleep deprivation are a hindrance to safety on the road and are often overlooked by law enforcement.  

If you or a member of your family has been injured in an accident, call the Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey for a free consultation.  The office is conveniently located in Tyson’s corner, Mclean. Mr. Downey represents car accident victims in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Jeffrey J. Downey, attorney
The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey
8270 Greensboro Drive, Suite 810
McLean, VA  22102
Representing victims of personal injury, elder neglect, abuse and exploitation
Serving clients in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia
On the web at Jeffdowney.com;  
Phone 703-564-7318, 703-564-7336

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