The AAA Foundation recently conducted a study in which they found that a person losing even one hour of sleep from the recommended seven hours a night is deprived enough to increase the risk of a car accident. The following information and statistics is provided to encourage getting enough rest before driving.
How Missing Just One Hour of Sleep Can be Dangerous
A car is heavy machinery. Medication bottles often warn against operating heavy equipment and most know to avoid alcohol and other substances when operating a car. The AAA study found that losing just one or two hours of sleep can double the risk of a car accident. Given the high speeds at which most drive, especially on the New Jersey Turnpike, any car accident has the potential to be deadly.
In addition, sleeping fewer than five hours puts a driver in the same condition as if driving drunk. For this reason, New Jersey passed Maggie’s Law in 2003. Maggie’s Law was passed after a driver stayed awake for 30 hours and had smoked crack the night before the accident. In the accident, Maggie McDonnell was fatally injured by the sleep-deprived driver. In 2014, comedians James McNair and Tracy Morgan were involved in a similar accident in the Garden State.
Maggie’s Law in New Jersey
Maggie’s Law permits New Jersey prosecutors to charge a driver with vehicular homicide if a fatality occurs while driving in a drowsy, sleep-deprived condition.
In deciding to pass Maggie’s Law, state lawmakers relied on data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and other sources. The conclusion by lawmakers was that sleep deprivation is a personal choice, and that drivers who ignore the warnings are responsible for injuries resulting from that choice.
The message from the recent AAA study and Maggie’s Law is clear: get enough rest before driving a car. Accidents caused by sleep deprivation amount to human error, which can result in both criminal charges and civil lawsuits for damages.
Camden Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Injured Victims
If someone you love has been injured in a car accident, DiTomaso Law can help. You have a right to receive just compensation for your loss. We represent victims of car accidents in South Jersey and Philadelphia. We will be happy to provide a free case review. Contact us online or by phone now at 856-414-0014 to speak with one of our Camden car accident lawyers.