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Sleepy Drivers Just as Dangerous as Drunk Drivers

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When a driver falls asleep while behind the wheel, it often causes devastating consequences for themselves, as well as others on the road.

Miami-car-accident-lawyer.jpgAccording to statistics from the Florida Highway Patrol, the number of deaths related to drowsy driving is steadily going up in the Sunshine State. In fact, in 2013 and 2014 there were 14 recorded deaths per year and in 2015 - 23. This noticeable and unnerving trend is expected to continue if something isn't done about this problem.

Drowsy Drivers Just As Dangerous As Drunk Drivers

The Danger of Sleep Deprived Drivers

According to a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, sleep-deprived drivers are as dangerous as those who get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. What is especially surprising is the fact that even just a little sleep loss can impact a driver's ability to remain safe while on the road.

Most people already understand that the less sleep they get, the bigger risk they have of being involved in a car accident. However, according to various studies, even skimping on just one or two hours a night can increase the risk of a crash 1.3 times. This means getting only six hours, compared to the recommended minimum of seven. Consider the following:

  • Only 5-7 hours of sleep increases the risk of a crash 1.9 times
  • Only 4-5 hours of sleep increases the risk of a crash 4.3 times
  • Less than 4 hours of sleep increases the risk of a crash 11.5 times

Someone who had gotten just four to five hours of sleep had a crash risk that was comparable to someone with a blood alcohol level at or above .08, which is considered the legal limit in Florida. The risk for someone who gets less than four hours of sleep was determined to be equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .12 to .15.

Also Read: What are your rights if you are hit by a drunk driver?

The Hidden Danger of Sleepy Driving

The interesting thing is that while there is quite a bit of stigma associated with drunk driving, functioning with as little sleep as possible is often seen as some type of badge of honor.

There are certain groups of drivers that may be at a higher level of risk for these types of accidents. The most at-risk groups are individuals whose jobs require them to work a fractured schedule. This means they sometimes work during the day and sometimes at night.

Some of the most common people who do this include:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Police officers
  • Long-haul truckers

While most people don't believe that sleep driving is an acceptable action, many people do this on a daily basis.

If you have been injured in a Miami car accident because someone was sleepy behind the wheel and suffered an injury, contact to a Miami car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Paul K. Schrier, PLLC.

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