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How Sleep Deprivation Affects Driving

A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA Foundation) found that drivers who deprive themselves of one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep each night are twice as likely to be involved in a car accident. The traffic study, conducted in 2016, found that drivers who missed between two to three hours of nighttime sleep within a 24-hour period were four times as likely to be involved in a car accident than drivers who received the recommended seven hours of sleep. The AAA’s data analyzed information taken from a sample pool of over 7,200 drivers who were involved in more than 4,750 accidents. Officials who conducted the study found that a driver who gets behind the wheel with less than five hours of sleep experiences the same effects as those who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

More Findings on Sleep Deprivation

More than five fatal collisions each year are attributed to driving while drowsy. For this reason, the AAA has warned those who are not getting enough shut eye that the results may be deadly if they go on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 35% of drivers in the United States do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night, contributing to car accident deaths across the nation. 

The AAA Foundation also found that drivers who did not get the recommended amount of sleep within a 24-hour period had a significantly higher risk of crashes. Specifically, drivers with:

  • Less than four hours of sleep were 11.5 times more likely to crash;
  • Between four and five hours of sleep were 4.3 times more likely to crash;
  • Between five and six hours of sleep were 1.9 times more likely to crash;
  • Between six and seven hours of sleep were 1.3 times more likely to crash.

And, while 97% of drivers who were polled by the AAA Foundation noted that driving while drowsy threatened safety and was not acceptable, nearly one-third of those surveyed admitted that within the last 30 days they had driven while being so tired that they could hardly keep their eyes open. 

Drowsy Driving Symptoms

You should recognize the symptoms of drowsy driving in you or someone else. Do not get in a vehicle if your driver is sleep deprived. There are several symptoms of drowsy driving. These include:

  • Not remembering how many miles driven;
  • Drifting between lanes inadvertently;
  • Having difficulty keeping one’s eyes open.

According to the AAA, it is important not to rely on your body’s indicators that you are fatigued and sleep deprived and instead plan on getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. 

Nevada Attorneys Can Help

If you have been involved in a Nevada accident with a drowsy driver, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at H&P Law right away. Experiencing a car accident and resulting injuries due to the fault of another can be life-changing. Do not delay if you have been hurt. Contact our attorneys today to learn about your rights and obligations under Nevada law. 

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