Minnesota teenagers are most at risk for drowsy driving
Although certain groups of drivers are more likely to drive drowsy, teenage drivers are most likely to operate a vehicle after not getting enough sleep.
Some drivers in Minnesota are more likely to drive drowsy than others. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commercial drivers and those who work long shifts or night shifts are at a greater risk of causing a drowsy driving accident that results in those involved becoming seriously injured. However, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states that although these drivers are likely to drive drowsy, those between the ages of 16 and 24 are the most likely to be involved in a fatal drowsy driving collision.
How drowsiness affects a person’s ability to drive
In order to avoid the risks of drowsy driving, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teenagers get more than nine hours of sleep at night. When a teenage driver fails to get enough sleep, he or she may:
- Experience slowed reaction times in various driving situations
- Have a hard time making decisions behind the wheel
- Become less attentive to what is going on around him or her
When a driver operates a vehicle while drowsy, he or she can also experience a level of cognitive impairment that is similar to drunk driving. The CDC states that when a driver operates a vehicle after being awake for 18 hours, his or her level of impairment is similar to driving with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.05.
Once a person tries to operate a vehicle after being awake for 24 hours, he or she experiences a level of impairment that is equivalent to driving with a BAC level of 0.10. This level of impairment is above the legal BAC level limit in Minnesota, which is 0.08, states the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Many drivers ignore the signs of drowsiness
When a driver has a hard time focusing, starts daydreaming, has a difficult time remembering driving the past few miles or misses necessary traffic signs or exits, he or she should stop and get some rest. However, many drivers ignore these common signs of drowsiness. According to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of Americans admitted that they had operated a vehicle while feeling tired within the past year. Additionally, within the past 12 months, 37 percent reported that they had actually fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Minnesota drivers, who are injured in an accident caused by a driver who failed to pull over and rest after feeling tired, may require extensive medical and rehabilitative care. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, speak with an attorney to protect your rights to fair and proper compensation.
Keywords: car, auto, accident, injury