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The Real Dangers of Driving Drowsy

As someone who commutes to and from work, I see all kinds of drivers on the road. In the morning on my way in to work, I have to tell you, I see many people who probably didn’t get a good night’s rest. That why I thought, since I work for a car accident attorney in Orange County, why not write a blog post about the dangers of driving tired. It is no secret that people do not always get a full night’s sleep these days. And that does have a lot to do with how busy life seems to be for everyone these days. Remember, if you are suffering from injuries due to a driver who fell asleep behind the wheel, you have rights. You also deserve to be compensated for your injuries. Contact an accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys to discuss your case.

Accident Lawyer | Some Statistics

Believe it or not, there actually more people on the road who drive drowsy than who drive drunk. According to a study done in 2015, nearly 84 million drivers are slow deprived every day. Yes, you read that right. Every day! Further, according to the same study, driving sleep deprived is the cause of 1 out of every 5 fatal crashes. Meaning nearly 20% of deadly accidents are due to someone not getting enough sleep the night before. Here are some more:

  • In 2015, driving drowsy was the cause of 328,000 accidents, 109,000 injuries, and nearly 6,400 deaths;
  • A National Sleep Foundation survey, also conducted in 2015, 60% of the adults who participated in the study stated that they had driven drowsy at least one time a month in the last year.
    • In this same survey, 37% of those participants stated that they actually fell asleep at the wheel. That is 2 out of 5 drivers on the road;
  • Those who drive drowsy are 3.5 times more likely to be involved in an accident than those who are rested.

Who is More Likely to Drive Drowsy?

More than not, as any accident lawyer can tell you, those who are more likely to drive drowsy obviously do not get enough sleep. Commercial truck drivers (those who drive big rig trucks, tractor trailers, etc.) who drive through the night as well as shift workers (those who work graveyard shifts or longer shifts) are also more likely to drive tired. Some people have undiagnosed sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. As a car accident attorney, we have heard and seen it all.

The most important thing to remember is to get as much rest as you can.

Car Accident Attorney | How Dangerous is it Really?

As our car accident attorney points out, drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. Again, yes! You did read that right! The risk of being involved in a crash increases with the number of hours since the person last slept. A study that was done to compare sleep deprivation with blood alcohol content (BAC) – in terms of which is likely to cause an accident – were actually quite interesting. The results of the study indicated that a person who has not slept for 18 hours performs as if they had a BAC of 0.05. Furthermore, someone who hasn’t slept in 21 hours would be the equivalent to having a 0.08 BAC.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

I think we have all experienced sleep deprivation at least once in our lives. And we all know how that has effected our moods, our ability to work, etc. However, sleep deprivation causes a decrease in alertness, an inability to perform, cognitive as well as memory difficulties. Tie those all together to being out on the road, and it can be extremely dangerous around other drivers sitting in traffic.

Risks to Consider

One thing to remember, driving while tired is still considered driving while impaired. Now, you won’t be pulled over for it unless you are displaying signs of erratic driving. However, you do put everyone, including yourself, at risk if you do not get adequate sleep. Crashes caused by those who are sleep deprived are incredibly serious. They can occur late at night, early in the morning, even in mid-afternoon. Single drivers account for 82% of drowsy drivers compared to those who have a passenger or two.

Suffering from Injuries? Contact an Accident Lawyer Today!

There are consequences to every action and we hope that people take caution when they are on the road. If you didn’t get enough sleep the night before and you need to get somewhere and you aren’t sure if you will make it to work, there are alternatives. From simply taking the day off to rest (yes, we know, not exactly the easiest option), calling a friend or co-worker to carpool, Über or Lyft. There are so many options.

If you have been injured in an accident and are in need of representation, please do not hesitate to contact us. Consultations with an attorney in our office are free!

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