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When a bad night’s sleep leads to a morning car crash

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

So many things can cause us to sleep poorly. We may be up all night with a sick child or burning the midnight oil at work. We may suffer from insomnia. Nevertheless, if sleep eludes us at night we still must get up in the morning and go about our day. For many people in Kendall County and DeKalb County this means commuting to work. However, it is important not to get behind the wheel if you feel you are too drowsy to drive safely.

The statistics on drowsy driving

Drowsy driving is a serious issue in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 25 adult motorists reported that they fell asleep behind the wheel at some point in the past 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2017 alone, drowsiness was a factor in 91,000 motor vehicle accidents. In these accidents, 50,000 people were injured. Almost 800 of these accidents resulted in fatalities. Sadly, the NHTSA reports that the number of fatal drowsy driving accidents is likely greater than this and as many as 6,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents each year are the result of drowsy driving.

Why is drowsy driving so dangerous?

Drowsy driving occurs if a motorist has not gotten enough sleep. It can also occur if a motorist has a sleep disorder or takes medications that list drowsiness as a side effect. Drinking alcohol can lead to drowsy driving. Those who work third shift or long shifts can also be drowsy going to or from work.

When you are drowsy it is harder to pay attention to the task of driving. Your reaction time may be reduced, which can make it harder to brake or steer suddenly. Your decision-making abilities are also impaired if you are drowsy. It is easy to see how any of these effects can make driving dangerous.

No one plans on being involved in a drowsy driving accident, but they do happen. If you were injured after being struck by a drowsy driver, you will want to take the steps necessary to protect your interests, including learning more about whether filing a personal injury lawsuit is an option.