Car Accidents Caused By Drowsy Driving

Posted by the Charleston SC Car Accident Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC.  Our Charleston auto accident lawyers help those injured in car, truck and motorcycle accidents in Charleston, North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek and across the South Carolina lowcountry.

We can all appreciate a good night's sleep, but did you know that not getting one might increase your chances of being hurt in a car accident?  The National Sleep Foundation recently released information related to drowsy driving, and some of the information is surprising.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, researchers estimate that more than 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder.  One of the most serious consequences of insufficient sleep is traffic accidents due to drowsy driving.  A recent study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that one out of ever six (16.5%) deadly traffic accidents, and one out of eight (12.5%) crashes requiring hospitalization of victims is due to drowsy driving.

The study reveals that commercial truck drivers, shift workers, young men, people taking sedating medicines, or those with sleep disorders are especially susceptible to drowsy driving.  Sleepiness and fatigue have been linked to decreases in vigilance, reaction time, memory, psychomotor coordination, information processing, and decision making, which are all important while driving.  It is said that sleepiness can impair driving performance as much or more so than alcohol.  Being impaired by alcohol or a lack of sleep can be extremely dangerous for motorists.  It is therefore not a surprise that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that drowsy driving was probably the cause of more than half of crashes, which lead to a truck driver's death.  Unfortunately, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for each truck driver fatality, another three to four people are killed.

There are several telltale signs that suggest that a sleep related accident may have occurred including a vehicle leaving the roadway, and a lack of braking, skid marks, or other evidence that the driver made no attempt to avoid crashing.  Researchers have revealed a few indicators of drowsiness and drowsy driving that you should pay attention to.  These include frequent blinking, longer duration of blinks, head nodding, having trouble keeping one's eyes open and focused, memory lapses, daydreaming, and drifting from your lane or the road.

If you start to notice some of these signs while you are driving, it is advised that you pull off of the road and getting sufficient sleep before getting behind the wheel of an automobile.  If that is not possible, studies suggest two things that may be helpful: taking a short, 20-minute nap, and/or drinking two cups of coffee or other equivalently caffeinated beverages.  However, there is no substitute for good deep sleep and caffeine will only improve alertness for a short time.  For more information click on the link below for the full story.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile or trucking accident, call the Charleston, SC Auto Accident Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC. 

Source:  White Paper: Consequences of Drowsy Driving

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