Insufficient Sleep Can Cause Car Accidents
We have all heard about distracted driving and the dangers associated with it, but drowsy driving can be just as hazardous to you and others around you. In one year, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that about 44,000 non-fatal injury crashes in the U.S. were associated with drowsy driving. Additionally, at least 800 traffic deaths involved a drowsy driver.
Drowsy driving is a universal problem since it can impact anyone. Even if the person never engages in drug or alcohol use or cell phone use while behind the wheel, every person driving can be susceptible to driving while sleepy at one point or another.
Statistics on Drowsy Driving
According to one U.S. study that surveyed 150,000 drivers, about four percent of the respondents indicated that they had fallen asleep at least once while driving in the past 30 days. This statistic is disturbing, and it should be a warning sign to every driver, but especially to those who regularly get less than six hours of sleep per night. The study found that more people in this group answered yes that they had fallen asleep while driving in the past 30 days.
Who is More Likely to Be a Sleepy Driver
Drivers who fall into the following categories should be especially mindful when getting behind the wheel:
- Adults who sleep less than seven hours per night or teens who sleep less than eight hours per night.
- Night shift workers. People who work the night shift and sleep during the day are more likely to cut corners on their sleep or their sleep may not be as restful given that it is against the body’s natural rhythm.
- Drivers with untreated sleep disorders like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing while asleep and this causes multiple wakings throughout the night. This reduces the restorative nature of sleep and therefore causes unexpected drowsiness, even when the driver may have been in bed for an adequate amount of time the night before.
- Drivers who use medications that may cause drowsiness
- Commercial drivers who drive long hauls
Some signs that a driver is too sleepy to drive:
- Missing an exit
- Drifting out of your lane
- Hitting the rumble strip on the road
- Not remembering the last few minutes of drive time
- Frequent yawning or blinking
If you see these signs in a driver, urge them to take a break and learn to recognize them in yourself.
If a driver is feeling too drowsy to drive, the CDC recommends pulling over to rest or changing drivers if possible. It is simply not effective enough to turn up the radio or open the window.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Investigate Drowsy Driving Wrecks to Recover Compensation for Injured Victims
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, we can help. The experienced Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC can assess the facts of your accident and determine if you have a valid claim. Contact us online or call 302-888-1221 or 215-569-8488 to arrange a free consultation. We have offices in Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, and Southern New Jersey to assist clients throughout the surrounding areas.