Governor Promotes Awareness of Dozy Driver Dangers
Addressing an issue that wreaks havoc on highways across the nation, Governor Inslee designated a seven day stretch in mid-November as Washington State Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. This move comes in response to repeated reports of sleepy motorists causing accidents across the state, injuring and even maiming passengers in their own cars and other innocent victims.
Drowsiness as dangerous as drinking
According to experts, sleep deprivation is on a par with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, one night of lost sleep impairs a driver as much as being over the legal limit of alcohol. The numbers on this topic illustrate the dangers, with drowsy driving causing over 100,000 accidents, and tens of thousands of injuries and fatalities annually.
A number of states have taken legislative actions to combat drowsy driving, passing various laws that sometimes refer to it as reckless or fatigued driving. Several years ago Washington legislators even tried to enact a bill outlawing sleeping-driver homicide, which failed to pass.
With over 30 percent of all drivers having fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point in their lives, many drivers need to keep a few critical points in mind when they may find themselves in drowsy driving scenarios:
- Watch for physical symptoms, such as trouble focusing and drifting out of lanes, and let others take over or take a nap if you are visibly affected
- Utilize caffeine when necessary
- Never sacrifice safety for a speedier arrival
While operating an automobile while drowsy is not a crime, those who do it place themselves and others at risk. When such practices injure others or kill others, the perpetrators can be held financially responsible for their actions.
Proving that a driver failed to exercise the necessary level of care may not be simple and generally requires the assistance of a qualified accident attorney. Mark A. Hammer & Associates has extensive experience in auto accident cases. Call for a consultation.