Drowsy Driving

A good article in the cape cod times on the dangers of drowsy driving. The article cites statistics from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration that shows that drowsy driving is a factor in over 1500 road fatalities and 100,000 accidents a year.

Yet in most cases there is no criminal penalty for knowingly driving when overtired. The only state law on the books is Maggie’s Law in New Jersey.  This law makes it a criminal offense to knowingly drive when fatigued. For the purposes of the law, fatigued is defined as having slept in the previous 24 hours.

The penalties can be similar to that of reckless driving, or worse. If there was an injury or death as a result of the driving, you could be charged with vehicular homicide.

Legislatures are slowing “waking up” to the fact that other behaviors and conditions behind the wheel are as dangerous or even more dangerous than drunk driving.  There are a host of distracted driving circumstances that include texting, eating, applying makeup, or anything that diverts your attention from the road.

About David Matson