Drivers can be dangerous even if they are not drunk

It may be common knowledge that driving while under the influence of alcohol is very dangerous, particularly when a driver’s blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of .08. However, a recent study found that drivers who had less than the legal limit in their systems, but were substantially fatigued were just as dangerous towards other drivers.

According to a recent study by the Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous when a driver is sleep deprived. Researchers observed 16 drivers who were exposed to sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption, or both at the same time. They found that drivers who were tired and had consumed alcohol had greater levels of drowsiness and attention deficits, compared to those who were only sleepy or only consumed alcohol. 

Drowsiness and alcohol consumption affects a driver’s motor skills and reaction times and could be the difference between avoiding an accident and being the cause of one. The researchers recommended that drivers avoid alcohol when feeling fatigued and advised against driving home when in such a condition.

Aside from the physiological effects, getting behind the wheel while fatigued can be construed as a breach of the duty to use reasonable care expected of all drivers in Arizona. If this breach is found to be the cause of an accident, the offending driver could be held liable. This means that such a driver could be responsible for paying money damages for the injuries suffered in accident, including lost wages and property damage.

If you have been injured in an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can advise you of your rights and options. 

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