Driving drowsy can be deadly. Many experts compare drowsy driving to drunk driving since both affect drivers in similar ways. Like a drunk driver, a tired driver can experience slowed reaction times, impaired judgment, and the inability to control the vehicle. Don’t underestimate the dangers of driving drowsy. Truck drivers and other motorists who engage in this unsafe practice can cause serious and fatal truck accidents. Get the facts on drowsy driving to keep you and your family safe in West Virginia.

Drowsy Driving Statistics

At least one in 25 adult drivers reports falling asleep behind the wheel in the last 30 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Statistics show that 72,000 accidents, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths stemmed from drowsy driving in one year alone. However, researchers believe these numbers fall woefully short of actual drowsy driving crash statistics, due to the difficulty of assigning this cause to crashes. It is often impossible to ascertain whether a deceased driver had been drowsy or asleep at the time of the wreck.

Commercial truck drivers are especially prone to driving drowsy. Sleep apnea, other sleeping problems, long drives, night shifts, and drug/alcohol use can all contribute to drowsy truck drivers. Thirteen percent (13%) of commercial drivers in a study admitted to fatigue at the time of their accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports. Long shifts and pressure from trucking companies can contribute to the rate of tired driving in the commercial trucking industry. If you or a loved one was injured in a collision involving a negligent truck driver, schedule a free consultation with a West Virginia truck accident attorney to explore your legal options.

Is Driving Drowsy More Dangerous Than Driving Drunk?

The Sleep Foundation states that trying to drive after being awake for 18 consecutive hours is similar to driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.05%. Driving after staying awake for 24 hours is the equivalent of driving with a BAC of 0.10%s, which is 0.02 higher than the limit at which the state of West Virginia considers a driver drunk. Both drowsy and drunk drivers are unfit to operate motor vehicles, as they pose unreasonable risks of harm to others on the road.

Not only can driving drowsy be the equivalent of driving drunk – studies show it can be more dangerous. Although a drunk driver may be slow to react to changing roadway situations, such as a stopped car, a driver who has fallen asleep won’t react at all. A sleeping driver may not so much as tap the brakes before impact with another vehicle, pedestrian, or object. Drowsy driving, therefore, comes with a higher risk of high-speed collisions than driving drunk. Head-on collisions, high-speed accidents, T-bones, and rollovers are all serious accidents that a drowsy driver could cause.

Prevent Drowsy Driving in West Virginia – Know Your Limits

It’s up to you as a driver to prevent drowsy driving. You’ve taken the first step by educating yourself on the real risks of this bad habit. Now, do your part to protect yourself and those around you by avoiding driving while tired. Know your limits when taking trips, especially if you’ll be on the road for hours at a time. Take frequent breaks to stop and rest. Don’t rely on “shortcuts” such as caffeine, energy drinks, or blasting the radio. The only thing that can resolve drowsy driving is sleep. Pull over someplace safe to rest if you notice any of the following signs of drowsiness:

  • Frequent blinking
  • Slow, heavy blinks
  • Excessive yawning
  • Disconnected thoughts or distraction
  • No memory of the last few miles driven

Get plenty of rest before a long road trip, and plan plenty of time for stops, as necessary. If someone is riding with you, make a no-sleep rule in the front passenger seat. If your passenger must doze off, ask that he or she do so in the backseat. Traveling with talkative companions who can stay away with you can help reduce your risk of causing an accident. If you were a victim in a drowsy driving accident due to another’s negligence, the West Virginia car accident attorneys at Manchin Injury Law Group can help.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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