Tuesday 18, Apr, 2017

Sleeplessness and the Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Just how dangerous is drowsy driving in Chicago? According to a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving may be a lot more dangerous than you think. Indeed, the study reports that missing even one or two hours of sleep per night can drastically increase the likelihood of a serious or fatal car accident.

If you or someone you love got hurt in a traffic collision caused by a drowsy or fatigued driver, it is important to learn more about filing a claim for financial compensation. An experienced Chicago car accident lawyer can speak with you today about your case.

AAA Study Show Higher Crash Risk When You Sleep Fewer Hours Each Night

What do you need to know about the risks of drowsy driving in Cook County? As the news release for the study explains, we know that drowsy driving plays a role in more than one out of every five fatal accidents in America every year. To put that figure another way, more than 20 percent of all deadly motor vehicle collisions on U.S. roadways involve fatigued driving in some capacity. Now, as the AAA study clarifies, any amount of sleep that falls below seven hours per night can result in a fatal crash.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that around 35 percent of Americans fail to get seven hours of sleep (or more) per night. What is the effect of sleeping for fewer than seven hours? The effects likely are more drastic than you would expect. According to Dr. David Yang, the executive director for the AAA Foundation, “you cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel.” As he highlighted, the AAA Foundation’s recent research “shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.”

To be clear, the study suggests that sleeplessness can impair a driver so significantly that the risk of an accident is similar to a situation in which a driver is beyond the legal limit for alcohol consumption.

Learning More About Crash Risk and Hours of Sleep

The study determined that, the fewer hours of sleep per night below seven, the higher the risk of a dangerous car accident. Here is the data from the study:

  • Getting between six and seven hours of sleep per night increases your crash risk by 1.3 times;
  • Sleeping five to six hours per night increases the crash risk by 1.9 times;
  • Sleeping only four to five hours per night increases your risk of a crash by 4.3 times; and
  • Getting fewer than four hours of sleep per night increases the risk of an accident by 11.5 times.

Why is drowsy driving so dangerous? Fatigued drivers have difficulty keeping their eyes open, and some even fall asleep behind the wheel. Even if you are able to keep your eyes open, getting an inadequate amount of sleep can make focusing extremely difficult, and accidents can occur.

Contact a Chicago Car Accident Attorney

Were you injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver? An aggressive car accident attorney in Chicago can assist with your case. Contact Arami Law to learn more about our services.

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