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The real threat of drowsy driving

You've probably felt yourself growing tired behind the wheel before. The sound of the road and the passing of the lines create a monotonous, endless repetition that can start to put you to sleep, especially if you were already tired when you got in the car. If you've been there, you should know that this is actually pretty common in Illinois and all across the United States.

In fact, a study done in 2008 showed that a full 26 percent of the population had fallen asleep while driving. An earlier study, done in 2005, showed that 60 percent of drivers had at least felt drowsy while they were in control of the car.

So, just how dangerous is it? When people stay awake for 18 hours in a row -- not much more than a standard day, for many people -- it has been shown that they are impaired to the same level they would be if they drank alcohol and had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05. While this is still under the legal limit, it shows how drastically a lack of sleep can impact someone.

On top of that, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that around 2.5 percent of all of the deadly crashes and 2 percent of accidents resulting in injury are traced back to drowsy driving. Some people also think that, if anything, this estimate is on the low side. 

This is an especially big issue with truck drivers who are paid more for covering more miles, prompting them to stay awake too long. In fact, regulations to limit driving and working hours have been put into place as a result.

Have you been hit by a drowsy driver? If you have, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, permanent disabilities and more.


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