I recently read a blog post by Cartersville, Georgia DUI lawyer, Jesse Block wherein he discusses that some states, like New York and Tennessee, are trying to criminalize drowsy driving. I have the same concerns as Mr. Block, how can a law enforcement officer objectively determine that a driver is “under the influence” of drowsy driving?
There is no doubt that inattention and fatigue are certainly involved in a number of Indiana car accidents; however, being inattentive or tired is the human condition. As a car accident lawyer, we always ask questions of the defendant driver regarding their activities during the 24-hours before a car accident. Most of the time, for the non-professional driver, this line of questioning doesn't shed any light on the situation because there is no objective evidence supporting fatigue.
Now, if the accident involves a professional driver, like an over-the-road trucker, we can obtain their daily logs, which care supposed to document the driver's work time and rest time in accord with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Standards. In truck accident cases, we are able to determine whether the trucker was fatigued through the driver's logs. In many claims, these logs are the lynch pin to proving the claim.
In 2012, the National Safety Counsel published a white paper discussing the use of cell phones and driver inattention. In this article, driver's using a hands free device, showed inattention, distraction and perception reaction times similar to drunk driving. The NSC's findings suggest the following:
Hands-free safety devices offer no safety benefit while driving; and
Hands-free devices do not eliminate cognitive distraction
I've been around a while and I do not believe that the government can regulate human behavior. With the technology boom we have a number of distractions in our life, which will translate into distracted driving. Even with the recent rhetoric about self-driving cars, we are human and to be human is to fail so there will always be car accidents.