Are You at Risk of Being Involved in a Drowsy Driving Accident? Get the Facts
Many of the people who would admit that drowsy driving is probably dangerous would say that they can drive safely while tired. This untrue, according to a new study from the AAA Foundation. Get the facts, find out if you are at high risk, and contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 if you are involved in a car accident and require a free legal consultation.
Crash Rights Go Up with Lower Amounts of Sleep
The study in question compared drivers who had slept at least seven of the 24 hours leading up to their accident. They found that those who slept only 6-7 hours were 1.3 times as likely to get into an accident than those who had slept at least seven hours. The shorter the sleep, the higher the crash rate:
- Driving who get 5 – 6 hours of sleep had nearly twice the crash rate
- Drivers who got 4 – 5 hours of sleep at more than four times the crash rate
- Drivers who slept less than four hours at 11 ½ times the crash rate
The study also looked at what drivers claim was their typical amount of sleep. The researchers found that people who reported they generally slept for only four to five hours each day had 5.4x the crash rate of a driver who slept at last seven hours on an average day.
Certain Drivers Are at a Heightened Risk of Driving While Drowsy
The truth is that certain drivers are more likely to be involved in drowsy driving accidents than others are. They include young people, with men under the age of 26 years old at the highest risk. Shift workers (i.e. people who have rotating day and night hours) are about six times as likely to drive while fatigued than the average driver. Those who work rotating shifts and work more than 60 years per week are at extremely high risk.
Commercial truck accidents are in more danger as well, especially those who drive long-haul. About 15% of all commercial truck accidents involve fatigued driving. Additionally, people with untreated or undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea are seven times as likely to fall asleep while driving.
Situational Issues Can Make a Person Less Safe While Driving
In addition to the reasons listed above, if a person is driving a long distance without pulling over and walking around every two hours (or 100 miles), they are at a higher risk of an accident. Trying to drive through the night or during hours you would normally be asleep puts you at greater risk. If you are taking anti-depressants, antihistamines, or cold tablets, you might be at a higher risk of drowsy driving. Any amount of alcohol can make a person tired, and so can driving on a long, dark, rural road alone.