man yawning drowsy drivingThe fact that drowsy driving is dangerous is not news. However, the results of a new study published in the journal Sleep describe just how dangerous a drowsy driver is based on the specific amount of sleep the driver had in the previous 24 hour period.

How Tired Is Too Tired to Drive?

Sleep-deprived drivers may make serious mistakes or may fall asleep at the wheel. According to the study, the chances of being involved in a car crash increase if a driver has had fewer than seven hours of sleep in the last 24 hours. Specifically, the study found that when compared to drivers who had seven to nine hours of sleep a night:

  • Drivers who had six hours of sleep had a 1.3 times greater chance of causing a crash.
  • Drivers who had five hours of sleep had a 1.9 times greater chance of causing a crash.
  • Drivers who had four hours of sleep had a 2.9 times greater chance of causing a crash.
  • Drivers who had less than four hours of sleep had a 15.1 times greater chance of causing a crash.

How Big a Problem Are Drowsy Drivers?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 40% of Kentucky adults report usually sleeping fewer than seven hours in a 24 hour period. It is difficult to measure how many drowsy drivers end up causing car accidents. The statistics vary significantly. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports about 100,000 drowsy driving crashes a year while the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports about 328,000 drowsy driving crashes a year.

Did a Drowsy Driver Cause Your Accident?

The answer may be difficult to know at the scene of the crash. There is no easy test like there is for drunk driving. In the days and weeks following your crash, however, an experienced car accident lawyer can investigate what happened to you and find out just how tired the other driver was at the time of the accident. If the other driver was negligent and you were hurt by that negligence then our lawyers will fight hard to get you the fair and just accident recovery you deserve. Please contact us any time—24/7/365—to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights and possible recovery.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky
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