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Driving while tired is more dangerous than many think

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2019 | Car Accidents

Many Virginia drivers would have to admit that, at one time or another, they have gotten behind the wheel while they were tired. They may not have realized how serious of an issue driving while tired can be. This is one of the reasons why on March 15, 2019, an automotive manufacturer took advantage of World Sleep Day to emphasize the dangers associated with driving while tired.

The statistics show that as many as 1 in 5 road accidents can be linked back to a driver operating a vehicle while tired. To help drivers understand just how dangerous driving while tired can be, an automotive manufacturer made use of a ‘Sleep Suit” as well as specialized goggles connected to a cell phone app.

The goggles were designed to help drivers understand the steps their bodies go through as their brains shut down from sleep deprivation. When a person is driving while tired, he or she might experience what researchers refer to as microsleeps, which are very short periods of time when a person falls asleep, or his or her brain disconnects from what he or she is doing. They can be as short as 10 seconds or last longer.

The interesting thing about microsleeps, as well as what makes them so dangerous, is that a person’s eyes may be open during this entire process. The ‘Sleep Suit” simulates the excess weight a person’s body feels when he or she is tired as well as his or her slowed reaction time. The hope is that when drivers see how perilous it can be to drive when tired, they will reevaluate the decision to get behind the wheel if they have not had enough sleep.

Victims of car wrecks that were caused by individuals who fell asleep behind the wheel may be entitled to financial compensation. A personal injury attorney may be able to help a person evaluate and assemble a civil claim. A lawyer may look at witness accounts, reports from accident reconstructionists and information provided by law enforcement to negotiate a settlement with the responsible party.