Sleep-deprived drivers get behind the wheel every day. Whether it’s the new mom with a colicky infant or a truck driver who’s been working long shifts, drowsy driving can occur anywhere. Just because an individual is awake, doesn’t mean they are alert enough to drive. Drowsy driving can be extremely dangerous. In fact, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that sleep-deprived drivers were 15 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
The AAA study was the first peer-reviewed study that calculated the risk of an accident based on the number of hours slept. They pulled U.S. Department of Transportation data regarding 5,470 accidents. The study found that drivers who slept for less than four hours were 15 times more likely to cause a crash than drivers who slept seven to nine hours, the recommended amount of sleep. A person driving on less than four hours of sleep has a similar driving capability to a drunk driver.
Although experts recommend that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night, many adults admit to getting less than seven. Drivers who log even five or six hours of sleep are still at an increased risk of causing an accident. Drivers with only six hours of sleep were twice as likely to cause an accident as compared to drivers who got a sufficient amount of sleep.
Why is Drowsy Driving So Dangerous?
Falling asleep at the wheel isn’t the only risk when an individual is driving while drowsy. Just because someone is awake doesn’t mean that they have the capacity to make safe decisions. Sleep-deprived drivers are at an increased risk of having a poor reaction time to road conditions and failing to judge things like spacing between vehicles and when it is safe to make a turn. This can be extremely dangerous and place other people at risk of serious injury.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a drowsy driver, you should consult with an experienced New York car accident attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping car accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.