Drowsy Driving Risk Comparable to Drunk Driving

*This post was originally published June 14, 2017 and has been updated with new information.

A 2017 report from the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety examined the true dangers of drowsy driving. The study revealed that even a small amount of sleep deprivation can greatly increase your risk of getting into a crash. According to the report, missing even one or two hours of the healthy amount of sleep (about seven hours for adults) nearly doubles your risk of crashing.

The report also notes that drivers who get only four or five hours of sleep quadruple their risk of getting into a wreck. Drivers who attempt to get behind the wheel under these conditions run a risk comparable to those who are driving under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, the risk of crashing rises steadily as hours of sleep decline.

Many at Risk of Drowsy Driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35% of drivers get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep. Thus, a large population of drivers on the road are sleep deprived and have an elevated risk of crashing.

Scientists Developing a Blood Test to Detect Sleep Deprivation

Fortunately, scientists have discovered a way to detect whether a driver is sleep-deprived. A study conducted by the Sleep Research Center at the University of Surrey examined 36 participants who skipped one night of sleep. The participants’ blood samples were taken, and a machine learning algorithm identified several biomarkers that indicate a person is suffering sleep deprivation.

Researchers say discovering these biomarkers is the first step toward creating a test that can detect sleep deprivation in drivers. This would be useful not only to police officers testing drivers involved in accidents, but also to trucking companies and other transportation employers who need to ensure their employees are fit to drive.

“A test to detect sleep deprivation would be an important step toward combating the problem of drowsy driving,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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