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Sleep deprivation and driving create a dangerous mix

It seems as though most people suffer from sleep deprivation these days. Between work and family obligations, sleep tends to take a back seat to all of the other tasks that seem more important. You may be one of the many who relishes the weekends when you can catch up on your sleep.

You may be able to easily rectify missing a few hours of sleep over the course of a week with an extra cup of coffee or some other caffeinated beverage, but other people routinely lose sleep or work in jobs that upset their sleep patterns. This type of chronic sleep deprivation makes those individuals a danger to everyone around them on the road. California roads have enough traffic issues without adding a drowsy driver to the mix.

Who poses the most risk for drowsy driving?

Those drivers with a higher risk of drowsy driving often fall into the following categories:

  • People who work rotating shifts or overnight
  • People who take medications that cause drowsiness
  • People who suffer from undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders

Another group that tends to drive while drowsy is men between their teenage years and their 30s. Large numbers of the accidents involving these men occur anywhere from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Some interesting facts about drowsy driving

It may not surprise you to know that many accidents involving drowsy drivers occur during the overnight hours into the early morning, as indicated above. However, older drivers may present a danger during the mid-afternoon hours when people tend to naturally get sleepy. Many of these accidents involve high speeds and little or no effort to stop in order to avoid a collision.

Approximately 100,000 accidents each year involve drowsy drivers. Around 71,000 people suffer injuries, and somewhere around 1,500 people die in those crashes, according to the U. S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In reality, these numbers are low since attributing an accident to a sleepy driver doesn't happen often -- unless a driver admits to it.

Your options in a drowsy driving accident

If a drowsy driver caused an accident in which you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one, you may want to determine your legal rights and options. You may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim seeking compensation for your financial losses and other damages. Navigating the legal system often presents a challenge, so it may be worthwhile to schedule a consultation with an experienced legal advocate who can help you determine your next steps.

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