Like every state, Georgia has strict laws that prohibit driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You may not know that driving while drowsy is every bit as dangerous. When you’re sleep-deprived behind the wheel, it places you and others on the road at risk.

The disturbing numbers

According to a National Sleep Foundation survey, over 20% of drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel in the past year. Over 40% of drivers say that they have dozed off while driving at least once since they received their license. Statistics show that roughly 5,000 people each year are killed in accidents involving drowsy drivers. When you get behind the wheel after not having slept for 20 or more hours, it is the equivalent of driving with a .08 blood alcohol level. This is the legal limit in most states. That’s why many safety advocates say drowsy driving is as bad as drunk driving.

How it is dangerous

Even if you manage to remain awake behind the wheel, your reaction times will be slowed dramatically when you’re tired. It generally takes just 4 seconds to travel the length of a football field when you’re on the highway. If you’re not alert, your ability to brake and avoid a collision goes down, putting you at a greater risk of a serious crash. This is compounded by the fact that you are traveling at a high speed.

Getting legal assistance

If you’ve been in an accident with a drowsy driver, you may be able to take legal action. Consider seeking the counsel of a motor vehicle accident attorney who may help you file a claim. This can lead to a possible settlement where you’re compensated for your injuries. If you cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company, the attorney could file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.