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IL accident lawyerIf you are like most people, you probably deal with tiredness and fatigue from time to time. Studies show that most of us do not get as much sleep as we need. When a driver feels too sleepy to drive safely or starts to nod off at the wheel, he or she should pull off of the road and rest. Sleep deprivation can cause reduced concentration, shortened reaction time, cognitive lapses, and inattention to the road. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident caused by someone who was sleepy or even asleep at the wheel, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages.

Sleep Deprivation’s Effect on the Brain

You may be surprised to learn that many experts consider drowsy driving to be just as dangerous as drunk driving. This is because the effects of sleep deprivation can be similar to the effects of alcohol. Being sleepy makes us slower to respond and less capable of sound decision-making. Sleep deprivation can mean the difference between avoiding a collision and being involved in a serious auto accident.

Drowsy Driving Crash Statistics

In one recent study, researchers found a profound connection between sleep deprivation and auto accidents. Adults are supposed to get 7-9 hours of rest on average. According to the study, individuals who slept only 5-6 hours the night before were twice as likely to be involved in an accident. Sleeping just 4-5 hours quadruples your chances of being in an accident. If a driver has slept less than 4 hours in a 24 hour period, he or she is a staggering 12 times more likely to be in a crash.

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IL accident lawyerIf you are like most adults, you probably do not get as much sleep as you wish you did. Whether it is a crying infant, noisy neighbor, early morning work meeting, or other factors, getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night can be a challenge. However, being sleep deprived can significantly lower concentration, attention, reaction time, and cognitive functioning. Because these are the exact skills needed to drive, sleep deprivation dramatically reduces a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. The problem is so bad that one in five fatal car accidents are thought to involve a fatigued driver.

The Effect of Sleep Deprivation on Driving Ability

By now, most people have heard about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and distracted driving. However, little attention is given to the hidden risks of fatigued driving. According to a study conducted by AAA, drivers who get one to two hours less than the recommended amount of sleep at night are twice as likely to be involved in a car accident. Divers who get three to four hours less than the recommended amount of sleep are four times more likely to be involved in a car crash. If a driver sleeps for less than 4 hours during a 24 hours period, he or she is an astounding 11.5 times likelier to be in a collision. The level of impairment caused by severe sleep deprivation is comparable to being over the legal blood alcohol (BAC) limit.

Personal Injury Claims Involving Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving

Getting behind the wheel when you are too sleepy to drive safely puts yourself and other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians in danger. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident or truck accident caused by a sleep-deprived driver, you know just how dangerous drowsy driving can be. You or your loved one may have suffered severe injuries that required extensive medical treatment and time off of work. The financial losses incurred in the accident may have left you or your loved one nearly bankrupt. One option that may enable you to recover compensation for these and other damages is a car accident injury claim. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn more.

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Lake County car accident lawyersWhen we think about negligent drivers, drunk driving or drugged driving often comes to mind. However, those under the influence of alcohol and drugs are not the only drivers who can cause serious and even deadly car accidents. In our busy world, about half of U.S. adults report not getting enough sleep at night. When a sleep-deprived driver gets behind the wheel of a car, the results can be catastrophic. In one survey, a shocking 40 percent of drivers admitted to actually falling asleep while driving at least once in their lifetime. Fatigued drivers who cause car accidents can be held legally responsible for the damages caused by the accident.

How Does Sleepiness Affect Driving?

If you are like most adults, you probably sleep fewer hours than you would like to. While it is extremely common, being sleep deprived can significantly harm your brain’s ability to properly function. Not getting adequate sleep can negatively affect cognition, alertness, decision-making, attention, and memory. 

One of the most common side effects of sleep deprivation is a slowed response speed which is especially dangerous for drivers. Being sleepy and being under the influence of alcohol can have a very similar effect on driving ability. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about one out of every six fatal car accidents is caused by a fatigued driver. About 72,000 car crashes were caused by sleepy drivers in 2013 alone.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysIt is not covered enough in the media, but fatigued driving is a major problem in Illinois and across the United States. The number of accidents and fatalities caused by fatigued driving is alarming. A drowsy or sleepy driver is as dangerous on the road as one who is under the influence of drugs and other controlled substances.

Reasons for Fatigued Driving

Fatigued driving usually occurs when a driver has not had enough sleep, but it also can happen when the driver has untreated sleep disorders, is taking medication, has alcohol in his or her body, or has worked long hours at work. For anyone who has experienced this, it is not easy to know the exact moment sleep takes over and you find yourself gone, albeit momentarily. Others may not be as lucky as falling asleep at the wheel can result in serious, even fatal accidents.

According to experts, it is not just falling asleep which is dangerous, your ability to drive safely is affected even if you are merely sleepy. As a result of being drowsy, a driver is prone to succumb to all manner of undesirables such as:

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Posted on in Fatigued Driver

Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

When most of us think of reckless driving habits, including those that often cause car accidents, we envision speeding drivers or motorists driving under the influence of alcohol. The truth is, reckless and dangerous driving come in many forms, and one of the most common is drowsy driving. With early-morning commutes, late-night drives home, and lengthy trips, drivers commonly fall asleep at the wheel. 

Fatigued Driving Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 4,100 Americans were injured in collisions involving a drowsy driver in 2017. Of those injured, 795 people were killed. Fatigued driving is incredibly dangerous for a number of reasons. While it impacts reaction time and general awareness, the danger is obviously magnified if the driver actually falls asleep at the wheel, even for a moment.

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