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Experienced, Reputable Denver Lawyers

Attorneys at Beem & Isley P.C.

Drowsy driving poses similar hazards to drunk driving

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2021 | Personal Injury

The number of risks and dangers you can face on the road are nearly endless. Unfortunately, the biggest risk you face while traveling is other drivers on Colorado roadways. Not everyone does their best to remain focused and alert while operating a vehicle, and any lack in focus could easily cause a car accident that can change lives forever.

In some cases, people may not think that they are necessarily being bad or unsafe drivers. It is common for drivers to take a peek at their cellphone or change the radio station while driving without a second thought. However, those actions are distracting and could cause an accident to occur. Additionally, some people may not think much about getting behind the wheel while drowsy. After all, driving while drowsy is not like drunk driving, right?


Though drowsy driving is not against the law and many people feel tired in the morning when they get up to go to work, drowsy driving poses many of the same risks that drunk driving does. In fact, studies have found that both drunk driving and drowsy driving caused a similar number of car accidents under controlled circumstances. Some issues that drowsiness can cause for driving include the following:

  • Slower reaction times
  • Less alertness
  • Less focus
  • Negative effects on decision-making
  • Delayed response time
  • Decreased hand-eye coordination


Of course, the longer a person goes without sleep, the more dangerous he or she is behind the wheel. For instance, going 18 hours without sleep could have similar effects to driving with a blood alcohol concentration level of .05%. Going 20 hours without sleep could result in impairment similar to that of a BAC of .08%. Even getting just six to seven hours of sleep could increase the risk of an accident, while that risk increases even more for those getting less than five hours of sleep.

Suffering injuries

Though someone may not intentionally cause a crash, getting behind the wheel while drowsy is still negligent and reckless behavior. As a result, if a drowsy driver caused an accident that resulted in you suffering serious injuries, you may have reason to hold that driver accountable for the damages you suffered. Filing a personal injury claim could be among your legal options, and gaining information on how such a case is handled may help you make important decisions.