We know it's against the law to drink and drive. But, if you live in New Jersey, it's also against the law to sleep and drive. Sound strange? The law makes it illegal to knowingly drive a car while impaired by lack of sleep. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), New Jersey is the only state with such a law on the books, although other states have considered it.
According to III, the law equates falling asleep at the wheel with reckless driving, and if a driver falls asleep and kills someone in a crash, he or she can be charged with vehicular homicide and serve up to 10 years in jail and pay fines. New Jersey passed this law in 2003 but I wonder if it will catch on in other states. Will these states try to legislate every possible human mistake? What's next, going to jail for drinking coffee in the car?
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that at least 100,000 crashes and 1,500 deaths each year are the result of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. In addition, a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation discovered that 100 million drivers (close to half of American adult drivers) drive while drowsy and nearly two out of 10 admitted to having fallen asleep at the wheel.
Would you like to see your state adopt a law to punish fatigued drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel?