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New study equates drowsy and drunk driving

Due to the awareness campaigns launched against drinking and driving, many Ohio residents are aware of the dangers of getting behind the wheel intoxicated. However, many people do not think twice before getting behind the wheel while drowsy, even though a new report suggests that drowsy drivers' reaction times are just as bad as drunk drivers.

According to the study, a driver who has been awake for more than 21 hours can be compared to a driver who has an alcohol level of 0.08 percent-the legal drinking limit in all states across the country, including Ohio. According to one specialist, judgment becomes impaired in the same manner after a certain number of hours of being sleep deprived.

This could be one of the reasons around 72,000 car crashes can be attributed to drowsy driving between 2009 and 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At least 8,000 people have died and more than 40,000 were injured in these crashes.

Unfortunately, many drowsy drivers may think they are awake and driving on the road when, in reality, they are asleep and they don't even know it-even if it is for a brief second, it is enough for some severe consequences to take place. An accident can happen in the blink of an eye and can devastate the lives of not only those involved in the accident but also those who are related to them.

Injuries sustained in a car wreck often require medical treatment and time off from work and many people do not have the finances for their recuperation. They may be able to pursue a civil injury lawsuit against the drowsy driver who caused their accident and recover compensation that can cover their medical bills.

Source: "Drowsy driving can be as serious as drunk driving," Michelle Nicks, Aug. 9, 2016

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