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Drowsy Driving vs. Drunk Driving

Drowsy Driving vs. Drunk Driving: Which Poses a Greater Threat?

Law Offices of Jeff Martin Oct. 24, 2023

Drowsy and drunk driving both pose significant risks on the roads. Due to their effects on alertness, judgment, and reflexes, both conditions increase the likelihood of accidents. In this blog, we'll explore the differences between driving while fatigued and running a car while intoxicated, examining their effects on driving ability and the potential consequences they can have.

Which Is More Dangerous?

Determining which is more dangerous, between drowsy and drunk driving, is complex. Both conditions compromise a driver's ability to operate a car safely and increase the risk of accidents. However, studies suggest that running a vehicle while sleepy may be more prevalent and potentially as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.

Drowsy driving incidents often go underreported. This makes it challenging to obtain accurate statistics on the number of car accident cases caused by sleep-deprived drivers.

Nonetheless, research indicates that driving after being awake for 18 hours produces impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%. Furthermore, being awake for 24 hours or more results in impairment similar to a BAC of 0.10%, exceeding the legal limit in many jurisdictions.

Drowsy Driving vs. Drunk Driving

Drowsy and drunk driving, while distinct in their causes, share striking similarities in their potential for danger on the road. Drowsy driving happens when an individual operates a vehicle while fatigued, often leading to decreased alertness, slower reaction times, and compromised judgment. In contrast, drunk driving involves operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, which similarly weakens cognitive and motor functions.

Effects of Lack of Sleep

Drowsy driving affects attention, focus, and reaction time. It can cause microsleep episodes, during which a driver briefly falls asleep without realizing it. This can have catastrophic consequences if it occurs while driving at high speeds or in congested traffic.

Effects of Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol decreases inhibitions, leading to risky behaviors such as speeding. It also affects motor skills, making maintaining control over the car difficult. Moreover, vision is affected by alcohol consumption, resulting in reduced peripheral vision and decreased depth perception.

Consult an Experienced Lawyer!

If you have been involved in a drowsy or drunk driving incident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of the Law Offices of Jeff Martin. Our law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, provides guidance and support throughout the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected and helping you navigate any legal implications that may arise. Call us!