Delaware Car Accident Lawyers Discuss How Losing an Hour of Sleep Can Increase Crash Risk
A new study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows increased car accident rates among drivers who get behind the wheel after missing sleep. Drivers who missed two to three hours of sleep in a 24-hour period were involved in approximately four times the number of car accidents compared to drivers who were fully rested, the study found. Drivers who got less than four hours of sleep had their crash risk increased by up to twelve times, roughly the same level as being impaired by alcohol. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about a third of Americans do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep on an average night.
The symptoms for drowsy driving vary from person to person, and may depend on how much sleep has been lost. Common effects include struggling to keep one’s eyes open, drifting between lanes, and delayed reaction times. Taking breaks during longer drives, traveling with a passenger, and taking turns driving with a partner can all help mitigate the dangers of driving without enough sleep. The AAA Foundation also recommends avoiding medications that cause drowsiness, especially before or during longer drives.
Drowsy Driving Laws and Statistics
About 20% of fatal car accidents nationwide are a result of drivers traveling without getting enough sleep, according to statistics released by AAA. The laws regarding culpability for driving while fatigued vary by region, but in many states, drivers operating a vehicle without enough sleep can be charged with reckless driving, which can lead to a vehicular homicide charge.
Adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are significantly more likely to drive drowsy than other groups, with drivers over age 65 being the lowest risk group. Men are slightly more likely to drive while drowsy compared to women, but are about twice as likely to actually fall asleep while driving. Parents with young children tend to drive drowsy more than people without children. Adults that work a regular schedule (9:00 am to 5:00 pm) are less likely to drive fatigued than those with irregular or night shift schedules.
Around 70% of Americans commute to and from work via personal car, and over a quarter of those are estimated to drive to work while still drowsy at least a few days a month. One in ten drive to work while fatigued a few days a week, and about one in twenty drive without enough sleep almost every day. Drowsy driving can also increase stress, reduce patience, and cause reckless behavior.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to drowsy driving, it is important to secure proper representation. Our team of Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC offer the experience to provide personalized representation. Contact us online or call 302-888-1221 to schedule a free consultation. Serving clients across Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, we are dedicated to ensuring that all clients receive the maximum amount of compensation to which they are entitled.