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How drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving

Driving under the influence of sleep deprivation can be just as lethal as driving while impaired by alcohol. Not only do both reduce a driver's reaction time, but they cause a decline in awareness and a reduction in judgment acuity.

In determining whether an accident was caused by driver fatigue, there are usually some telltale signs. One primary sign is that they tend to involve only one vehicle. Another such sign is that the scene of the accident typically lacks any evidence of skid marks or other evasive maneuvers.

When it comes to driver fatigue, there are a number of factors that may contribute to it. There may be a lack of sleep due to the driver's work schedule or the driver may have gone to bed too late to be able to get the adequate rest needed before attempting to drive again.

Additionally, a driver may have been driving for too long of a duration or may have a sleep abnormality condition like insomnia. Likewise, the fatigue may be induced by the driver having taken sleep medication, alcohol or a combination thereof.

Aside from the impact fatigue has on reaction time and judgment, it can also adversely affect a driver's vision. It can cause the driver to suffer from short term memory loss, therefore making it difficult to process information. A driver's mood may also become erratic and behavior more aggressive.

Several states have begun discussing the possibility of empowering officers to charge drowsy drivers with criminal negligence. This is particularly being considered in cases in which someone is killed or injured as a result of a driver being sleep deprived.

If you or someone you know has been involved in accident with someone suspected to have been driving under the influence of sleep deprivation, a North Carolina car accident attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.

Source: DrowsyDriving.org, "Facts," accessed Feb. 24, 2017

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