Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is a dangerous situation. Whenever one combines sleepiness and driving, the potential for an accident goes up exponentially. The majority of people are aware of the various dangers of drinking and driving but don ‘t realize that drowsy driving can be just as fatal and impedes many of the same responses that alcohol does. Drowsiness slows down a person ‘s reaction time, decreases their awareness of their surroundings, impairs the general level of judgment, and increases a person ‘s risk of crashing.

Unlike alcohol-related crashes, it is nearly impossible to determine with absolute certainty the cause of a fatal accident where drowsy driving is suspected by investigators. There are typically some clues, however. One of the biggest clues is the negative toxin screen conducted by the hospital or medical examiner. If there isn ‘t alcohol in a person ‘s system, it is not really possible for that person to have died in a single-car alcohol-related accident. One of the other big clues is the lack of skid marks or other evidence of some sort of evasive maneuver. If a person is drowsy, or half asleep, at the time of an accident, he or she is not likely to make the effort to avoid an obstacle.

There are a variety of causes of sleepiness. Sleep loss; too little sleep; interrupted or fragmented sleep; chronic sleep debt; circadian factors (body rhythm factors) associated with a driving pattern or work schedule; and undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders can all cause drowsy driving.

One of the most interesting parts of drowsy driving is the fact that many officers will administer field sobriety tests to individuals who are simply tired, not drunk. These can be used as evidence in a DWI case later.

Contact a Dallas DWI Lawyer

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated when you were merely driving while drowsy, contact the Dallas DWI defense lawyers of the Law Office of Mark T. Lassiter at (214) 845-7007.


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