The Conditions That Lead to Auto Accidents and Drowsy Driving

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on August 20, 2017

Car flipped upside-downThe crash rate for drivers who sleep five or six hours is twice that of drivers who sleep seven hours or more. With each hour of sleep lost, the chances you will get in an accident increase. While issues like texting and driving seem to garner the lion’s share of attention, there is an apparent lack of understanding about the dangers of auto accidents and drowsy driving, a common and deadly problem.

At Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton in Salt Lake City, UT, we understand the trauma that comes with a serious auto accident. That is why we fight to maximize compensation for victims in auto accidents.

An Overview of Drowsy Driving

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than one in three drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel. However, falling asleep is not the only problem related to drowsy driving. Drowsy driving makes it more difficult for drivers to pay attention to the road and their surroundings, slows reaction time, impedes their ability to steer or brake suddenly, and affects their decision-making ability.

While lack of sleep is the primary cause of drowsy driving, untreated sleep disorders, side effects from medication, late shifts at work, and drinking alcohol are all contributing factors.

Signs of Drowsy Driving

Some drivers become so accustomed to driving drowsy that they hardly notice it. Becoming “used to” driving tired can create a false sense of security and actually put you at greater risk of falling asleep or losing focus behind the wheel. Recognizing when you are too drowsy to drive can save your life and someone else’s. How do you know if you are driving drowsy?

  • You cannot stop yawning
  • Your eyelids are getting heavy
  • You are missing exits and turns
  • You are drifting into another lane
  • You forgot how you got somewhere

Drowsy Driving Facts

Tragically, drowsy driving is common. These facts shed some light on the severity of the problem and how to reduce your risk:

  • Drowsy driving accidents happen most frequently late at night or early in the morning, outside of your body’s natural sleep period
  • Sleeping five hours or less makes you four times likelier to get in an accident than a driver who is well-rested
  • In a National Sleep Foundation poll, three in five drivers admitted to having driven while drowsy in the prior year and more than one in three admitted to falling asleep at the wheel
  • Staying awake for 24 hours will have the same effect on a driver as a .10 blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which is above the legal limit

Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton

By sleeping eight hours, avoiding early morning and late night driving, arranging for rides to and from work, sharing driving responsibilities on long trips, and pulling over for short naps, you can reduce your chances of a drowsy driving accident. Unfortunately, you cannot control what other drivers do on the road.

If you are victim in a drowsy driving accident, contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton. We will investigate your case to uncover the facts and help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Speak with one of our expert attorneys by visiting our website or by calling (801) 370-0505 today.

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