Campaigns against drunk driving and texting while driving have raised awareness about the dangers associated with these activities, but there is a lack of awareness about the risks involved with drowsy driving in younger drivers. According to most students in the small group surveyed by researchers, drowsy driving was considered less risky from a legal perspective, as compared to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or medications.
Even though they recognized in an abstract fashion that drowsy driving is dangerous, most students felt they were immune to the effects and were safe drivers, especially when other people were in the car. Not only were they unaware about the laws related to drowsy driving, they also felt that these laws could not be enforced. Without a chemical test, how can one prove drowsy driving? Therefore, it may come as a surprise to learn that a Massachusetts driving license program imposed severe penalties if the law violating unsupervised driving at night was violated and included a drowsy driving education program.
A study of the above-mentioned program showed that car crash rates fell at varying rates for teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19. This is a significant finding, given that younger drivers are more likely to be driving drowsy.
While publicity and enforcement are ramped up in an effort to curb car accidents related to drowsiness, these completely avoidable accidents persist nonetheless. An accident victim may be able to recover compensation from a personal injury lawsuit to cover their medical expenses and lost wages among other headings.