The dangers of driving while drowsy are more widely recognized in Ohio and across the country, but new data indicates that people still commonly drive when they’re too tired. According to a survey by AAA, nearly a third of respondents said they had driven at least once in the previous month while they were so tired they had trouble keeping their eyes open. It is possible that prescription sleeping pills are contributing to the problem.

Consumer Reports conducted a nationally representative survey and found that 20 percent of American drivers who take sleep aids had driven within 7 hours after taking them. According to a former medical school professor, drowsy driving is nearly impossible to entirely avoid. Due to a lack of public transportation, she said, some drivers have no choice but to drive while tired.

The National Sleep Foundation has reported that driving after being awake for 24 consecutive hours is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content of .10. The legal limit for BAC is .08. A study conducted by AAA in 2018 found that drowsy drivers were responsible for 9.5 percent of car accidents. Drivers who are too tired to be behind the wheel are encouraged to take breaks from the road and get some sleep.

People in Ohio who are injured in motor vehicle accidents with drowsy drivers may want to schedule a meeting with a lawyer. A lawyer with experience in personal injury law might be able to help by identifying parties that have liability or by negotiating a settlement with insurers. A lawyer might also be able to help the client secure recovery for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages or other damages.