According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every year, there are about 100,000 motor vehicle crashes involving drowsy drivers. This number may be even higher, as it can be difficult to determine whether a driver was drowsy at the time of a crash. These crashes lead to thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths.
Drowsy drivers get behind the wheel every day. From a new parent with a colicky newborn to a long-haul truck driver who has logged in too many hours, sleep-deprived drivers are everywhere. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that a driver who is sleep-deprived is 15 times more likely to be involved in an accident. This study was the first peer-reviewed study to calculate the risk of an accident based on the number of hours slept.
The study used the U.S. Department of Transportation data related to 5,470 accidents. According to the study, drivers who slept less than four hours were 15 times more likely to cause a car crash than drivers who slept seven to nine hours. A person operating on less than four hours of sleep has a similar reaction time and driving ability as a drunk driver.
Although it is recommended that everyone should get seven to nine hours of sleep, far too many people miss the mark. Drivers who sleep even five to six hours a night are still at an increased risk of being involved in an accident. The study found they are twice as likely to cause an accident as those drivers who received the recommended amount of sleep.
Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is dangerous for the same reasons drunk driving is dangerous. When you are operating on a lack of sleep, your senses are not as sharp as they could be. Lack of sleep can affect reaction times and the ability to make decisions on the road. A sleep-deprived driver may have problems judging the distance between vehicles or stopping quickly enough to avoid an accident. A drowsy driver is a menace on the roadway and puts everyone at risk of serious injury.
Contact a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should consider discussing your case with an experienced car accident attorney. At GGRM, we have been helping the victims of car accidents for over 50 years. Let us put our experience to work for you. To set up your free consultation, contact us online or call us at 702-978-7641 today.