There’s no doubt that being drowsy behind the wheel can put a driver at increased risk of being involved in an accident but a new study measures just how much. Traffic safety officials will regularly warn about the risks of driving distracted or drunk but it turns out that drowsy driving could be just as dangerous.
A report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety identified that those individuals who sleep only 5 or 6 hours within a 24-hour period have twice the likelihood of getting involved in a crash when compared with drivers who get 7 hours of sleep at night or more. The less sleep the individual behind the wheel gets the higher the rate of the crash.
Those who only got 4 hours of sleep, for example, had four times the crash rate which is similar to what is seen among drunken drivers. Previous research has indicated that approximately 20% of all fatal crashes in the United States involve a drowsy driver. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shares that more than 35,000 individuals died in car crashes in the last year, which is a 7.2% increase in fatal accidents from 2014.
Far too many people in the United States do not get enough sleep on a regular basis, as shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to a higher likelihood of fatal car crashes, sleep deprivation is linked to depression and weight gain. Regularly, sleep specialists and doctors will recommend that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep every single night. If you have recently been involved in an accident because someone else fell asleep behind the wheel of the car, make sure to reach out to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in California as soon as possible to protect your right to obtain compensation.