Driving while drowsy is more dangerous than many realize

A lack of sleep often leads to fatigue, a grumpy attitude and difficulty concentrating. The negative impacts that sleep deprivation has on a person are well documented. Still, some Ohio residents feel that it’s okay to drive while they are drowsy. The research says otherwise. That’s why Ford Motor Company used World Sleep Day on March 15, to highlight some of the dangers that drowsy drivers expose themselves to.

Fatigue plays a major role in automobile crashes. In fact, statistics show that fatigue is a factor in up to one in five automobile accidents. Experts say that if a person does not sleep for 18 hours, their reaction times are comparable to an individual who is driving while impaired from alcohol.

To help drivers see the impact that driving while drowsy has on their ability to react, Ford used its ‘Sleep Suit” for it’s free young driver program. This suit consists of a vest, a cap, ankle bands and wristbands. In total, the suit adds 40 pounds of weight to the wearer. Additionally, the wearer is given goggles that simulate the process the brain goes through as it shuts down due to fatigue. The goggles mimic microsleeps by blocking out the user’s vision for brief moments. The hope is that when the drivers see what their reaction time is like when they are tired, they will think twice about getting behind the while sleepy.

When someone is hurt in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, legal action may be warranted. A personal injury attorney could help an individual in this position evaluate their case and determine if civil action could be taken. Legal counsel could help the client look at evidence gathered by law enforcement and review statements from eyewitnesses.