Your Crash Risk Doubles for Every Hour of Sleep You Lose

January 4, 2017 | Crandall & Pera Law
Your Crash Risk Doubles for Every Hour of Sleep You Lose

It’s not news; distracted and fatigued driving cause accidents and cost lives. We talk about distracted driving all the time because the evidence is plain; studies have found that texting and driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Now it appears that fatigued driving should join the dynamic duo of distracted and drunk driving to become the terrible trifecta. New data suggests that all three conditions contribute to roughly the same number of crashes.

It gets worse NPR News reported:

“A report released Tuesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that drivers who sleep only five or six hours in a 24-hour period are twice as likely to crash as drivers who get seven hours of sleep or more.

And the less sleep the person behind the wheel gets, the higher the crash rate, according to the findings. For instance, drivers in the study who got only four or five hours of shut-eye had four times the crash rate — close to what's seen among drunken drivers.”

We just recently talked about how distracted driving caused the biggest spike in highway fatalities in fifty years. In the first six months of 2016, highway fatalities were up more than 10 percent from the same period in 2015, when more than 35,000 people died on the road. Our nations roadways are no longer getting safer. Instead, lack of attention, lack of sleep, and poor judgment are increasing the risks for drivers everywhere.

How to stay safe

Fortunately, there’s good news for the chronically busy. You can catch up on lost sleep, but only to a point. The point, of course, is within the same day. If you sleep for four hours and then nap later during the same 24-hour period, you’re generally in the clear. Unfortunately, the only way to catch up on sleep after the day resets is to get the rest your body needs. If you begin to feel fatigued on long drives or after a long day, the report suggests pulling over for a quick 10- or 20-minute nap; that break could be the difference between life and death.

Auto and truck accidents change lives in an instant. New data is pouring in all the time that tells us how many are affected and what the contributing causes are, but all that information makes the same point; driving requires our full attention all of the time. One mistake, even at low speeds, can kill. Unfortunately, being a safe driver doesn’t mean that everyone else is taking the same precaution.

If you or your loved one has been a victim of a distracted, drunk, or fatigued driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. The experienced Ohio and Kentucky auto accident attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Call our Kentucky team at 877.651.7764, our Ohio team at 877.686.8879 or contact us today