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Lack of sleep multiplies risk of car accidents

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2019 | Car Accidents, Firm News

For Georgia residents who are busy and might not get the necessary amount of sleep to feel fully rested, it might seem to be a required trade-off to complete the various personal and professional tasks they have throughout the day. Most will think it is not a critical factor in being safe on the road. However, a lack of sleep can significantly increase the danger of being in car accidents. This is highlighted just as daylight savings time hits and the clocks are moved an hour forward, depriving people of an hour of sleep until they again become accustomed to the change.

Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety examines this phenomenon and brings to light how risky it can be. In a 24-hour time span, the loss of one to two hours of the amount of sleep raises the danger of being in an auto crash by almost double. For those who lose two to three hours of sleep, the risk is quadrupled. According to the National Sleep Foundation, drivers who have slept for just two out of 24 hours are not fit to drive. AAA says that people require a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night to be functional. Drivers who got less than five hours of sleep had a similar risk of a crash as those who were drunk.

Approximately three out of 10 drivers said they drove when they were tired enough that they could not keep their eyes open at least one time in the previous month. Signs of being too tired to drive include drifting into other lanes, problems keeping the eyes open, and forgetting the last several miles that had been driven. Even taking a 20-minute break for a nap can have a positive impact on safety and avoid being too drowsy to drive safely. Tactics like opening the window, playing the radio loudly and drinking coffee were found to be ineffective.

Today, car accidents are often attributed to distracted drivers, drunk drivers and drivers who are simply reckless. However, drowsy driving is and will continue to be a concern. Injuries will have life-changing consequences to its victims. Fatalities will leave a family without a loved one and all that person might have contributed. After car accidents, the cause is one of the key factors in a successful legal filing. Calling for a consultation about a lawsuit is imperative from the start and should be done as soon as possible.